Class action lawsuits and mass tort lawsuits seem to go hand in hand. It seems like whenever you hear class action you also hear mass tort. This is likely because there are quite a few notable similarities, but there are also some differences that can help you determine which type of lawsuit can be best for your situation.
For example, both class action lawsuits and mass tort lawsuits work with large groups of people. This group of plaintiffs is also facing the same group of defendants, and everyone is operating under one action instead of individual, separate lawsuits.
The main difference between a class action lawsuit and a mass tort lawsuit lies in the details of how the plaintiffs are viewed and treated.
Distinction Of A Mass Tort Lawsuit
The difference for a mass tort lawsuit when compared to a class action is that each plaintiff is vetted and treated as an individual. These are all still filed under one lawsuit, but each person must prove his or her own case in conjunction with the rest of the plaintiffs. It is a direct look at how the plaintiff in question has been treated by the defendant. This means one plaintiff may be awarded a judgement and another may not.
Distinction Of A Class Action Lawsuit
In a class action lawsuit, the entire group of plaintiffs is vetted and tried by examining one class representative. This class representative is one person who stands on behalf of the rest of the class to be vetted and tried, and the rest of the members receive the exact same judgement as the representative. Plaintiffs are not treated separately in class action lawsuits. This is most common when the class is exceptionally large and naming each person would be exhaustive and impractical, or when the class covers a large geographic area and each person cannot reasonably appear in court to be vetted individually.
How To Decide Which To Choose
There are many legal criteria that must be met in order to proceed as a class action. If, for whatever reason, one of the criteria cannot be met to file as a class action lawsuit, it is in the best interest of the plaintiffs to file as a mass tort lawsuit.
Moreover, a group of individuals may choose to file a mass tort lawsuit instead of a class action when there seem to be more factual differences than similarities in the case but not so different that it warrants completely different lawsuits altogether.
If you are experiencing similar legal issues as other people, you are likely eligible for a mass tort or class action lawsuit. While we hope this post has served as a good initial guide, we hope you trust our expert advice at Andry Law Group to help you determine which path is right for you.
Our team of lawyers is well versed in both mass tort and class action lawsuits, serving the entire Gulf South region and nationally.
Contact our team for a free initial consultation to learn more about your story and legal rights.