A mass tort is a series of civil claims or lawsuits brought by a series of plaintiffs, claiming similar injuries, against one or a few defendants.
A mass tort differs from a class action. In a class action, numerous plaintiffs are joined into one lawsuit. In a mass tort, each plaintiff maintains a separate lawsuit.
Most mass tort litigations in the United States involve injuries stemming from dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, or products liability. When enough lawsuits are filed, the cases are often consolidated into a "multi district litigation" or MDL. An MDL is a particular federal court that is charged with overseeing and managing the litigation as a whole.
It's common for an MDL to "test out" the lawsuits by hearing a series of bellwether trials. These are representative cases selected by the court, the plaintiffs' lawyers and the defendants' lawyers that are brought to trial to get a picture of how juries respond to the claims and defenses. The bellwether trials set the stage for settlement negotiations.
Shouse Law Group is involved in a number of current mass tort litigations. Although we are based in California, we represent clients in these lawsuits across the United States. Currently, we are accepting cases involving the following drugs, devices and products: