Mass Tort Lawsuit Lawyer

Mass tort cases involve injuries or illnesses that have been caused by a single incident or a single type of accident. Common examples include people harmed by consumer products, medications, medical devices, or a single disaster.

Any “mass tort” case will follow similar procedures, but they are all handled as individual cases with unique damages. This distinction separates them from multi-district litigation (MDL) or class action lawsuits, which have collective aspects to how they are handled in courts.

Some of the most pressing mass torts currently being litigated include:

  • Hair relaxer cancer lawsuits
  • Talcum powder cancer lawsuits
  • Baby formula infection lawsuits

The Personal Injury Lawyers ™ are here to assist you if you have been harmed by any of the above three products, as well as for any other harm you have suffered at the hands of a careless corporation. From defective product claims, encompassing defective medical devices and dangerous drugs, to accidents involving trains or commercial airlines, we are here to lend our knowledge and experience to help you recover financially.

Find out how much your case could be worth and what steps you’ll need to follow to claim damages during a free, confidential case review with no obligation. Take our eligibility quiz to see if your case qualifies.

File a Claim With a Higher Chance of Success by Working With a Mass Tort Attorney

Mass tort cases all have a common thread, but they must still be able to stand on their own legal merits. With sound legal reasoning and documentation of the harms suffered, those injured will have a higher chance of receiving compensation for the damages they have suffered.

Corporations and other large enterprises actively invest in risk management strategies, which means that they are prepared to try and shut down any cases against them that they believe won’t have the strength to succeed in court. They may offer a paltry settlement as consolation, or they may deny that they hold liability for the alleged harms. In extreme cases, they are even willing to counter-sue anyone who accuses them of causing an injury or illness.

In these situations, it makes a high degree of sense to appoint your own mass tort law firm that has experience going toe-to-toe against corporate legal teams. We can inform you of your legal rights and the common basis of claims like yours. We’ll also ensure that your rights are protected and that you are aware of all legal options that are available. Your attorney shares the same goal as you: to secure as much damages as possible from all at-fault parties in order to compensate you for the losses you have experienced.

At The Personal Injury Lawyers ™, we understand the immense suffering that can come with a cancer diagnosis or a health crisis affecting our youngest family members. Let us help you approach your case from the optimal strategic angle while also minimizing the stress and time you have to actively spend on handling your case. You can give us the heavy lifting while focusing on yourself and your family during your time of need.

Important Mass Tort Claims to Know About

There are hundreds of different mass tort claims that will emerge over the years, often stemming from new findings or a new wave of injuries inflicted in relation to an older problem. The harms stemming from these claims are highly serious, involving conditions that can shorten lives — sometimes right as they start.

Importantly, all torts will be affected by a statute of limitations. These statutes restrict the ability of anyone who has suffered harm once the limitations period has passed. For many tort injury cases, the time period is just two years from the date the injury occurred or from the date it should have been discovered. Injury victims may have four years or more, though, depending on the jurisdiction where they would be required to file.

In other words, there’s a ticking clock. This is especially true for cases that have been hitting the news or have been subject to a public announcement requirement. If you have been harmed by the product or company in question, you have a limited time to take legal action and hold responsible parties accountable.

Below are some of the most relevant mass tort cases currently handled in the U.S. court system.

Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit

Chemical hair relaxers have been found to increase the risks of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and other forms of cancer. Exposure to the products’ harmful chemicals through skin absorption is thought to have led to genetic mutations that cause these forms of cancer.

Product users have often been using chemical hair straighteners and relaxer hair treatments for decades, sometimes from an extremely young age.

Examples of products and companies named in these lawsuits include:

  • L’Oreal
  • Revlon
  • Optimum Salon
  • Dark & Lovely
  • Just for Me
  • ORS Olive Oil
  • TCB Naturals
  • African Pride Dream Kids
  • Motions
  • and other Chemical Straighteners

Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Exposure to talcum powder through long-term use has been linked to an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other forms of cancer. Many talc-containing products were found to be contaminated with asbestos, an extremely dangerous carcinogenic material. Exposure to asbestos through inhalation — or absorption when powders were used on the genital region — is thought to have directly led to the development of certain forms of cancer.

Examples of talc products that exposed users to carcinogenic materials include:

  • Baby powder, including Johnson & Johnson brand talcum powder
  • Body powder, including Gold Bond brand
  • Lipsticks
  • Foundation, concealers, and other makeup
  • Paint
  • Ceramics
  • Roofing materials
  • Supplements
  • Paper products
  • Rubber
  • Crayons
  • Deodorant
  • Certain medications

Baby Formula Lawsuit

Recent developments have revealed two major concerns for parents of newborns and other children currently receiving nutrition through baby formula.

Of the highest concern is the potential for underweight babies and babies born prematurely to develop a rare condition when fed formula containing cow’s milk or other synthetic, non-human milks. Known as necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, the condition causes an infant’s internal organs to become inflamed and, in many cases, experience sudden tissue death. The remaining tissues are vulnerable to infection, and the baby will be in critical condition.

NEC-related baby formula lawsuits have affected many brands, including Similac and Enfamil, both of which are manufactured by the company Abbott.

There are also concerns about Cronobacter sakazakii contamination in formula made by Abbott as well as ByHeart, Reckitt/Mead Johnson, and Perrigo (maker of Gerber formulas). While potential litigation over products affected by the 2022-2023 formula recall is currently developing, parents whose infants were made sick by these products have potential grounds to take legal action.

What Damages Can I Claim in a Mass Tort Case?

Every mass tort case will involve unique damages, which will nevertheless tend to fall into one or more of the categories highlighted below:

  • Past medical bills, including all costs of emergency treatment and hospitalization as well as costs for doctor’s appointments, surgery, medications, diagnostics/testing, outpatient services, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other possible procedures
  • Future medical bills, encompassing the full projected costs of all future care, such as physical rehabilitation, follow-up appointments, long-term medications, and hospice care
  • Out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the medical condition, such as the costs of parking or transportation needed for doctor’s appointments and the costs of any home modifications made necessary by the diagnosis
  • Replacement of reasonable domestic services which can no longer be provided because they were rendered by the injured person or by the family of someone affected by the condition and who no longer has time to provide them
  • Pain and suffering damages for the victim’s personal pain and mental suffering and their loss of ability to enjoy life and the activities they once did
  • Lost wages, which includes all potential income the victim would have been able to earn had they not suffered harm at the hands of the liable party
  • Funeral and burial expenses as well as replacement of lost household income, in fatal mass tort situations or situations where the victim died since first filing their claim because of a condition related to the claim
  • Punitive damages, which can only be awarded by a jury at the conclusion of a trial, and which are meant to punish the responsible party for grossly negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful behavior

What Do I Have to Prove to Win a Mass Tort Case?

In order to succeed in your claim to recover damages from a responsible party, you will have to concretely prove that they were, in fact, liable for the harm you have suffered.

Defective Products Mass Tort Claims

For defective products mass tort claims, a typical case will have to prove:

  • The victim purchased the product or was given it after a legitimate purchase by someone else
  • The product was used in accordance with all instructions, with regard to any warnings provided
  • The use of the product directly caused an injury or a harmful medical condition
  • The harm caused resulted in medical bills and other damages

These are the provings necessary to show that a product was dangerous, meeting the standard for strict liability. In some cases, though, the injury victim will also have to prove that the harm was caused by a specific defect the manufacturer had the power to prevent. These cases are more complex, as they often involve demonstrating that the company somehow knew or reasonably could have known about the risks their products posed.

Other Mass Tort Claims

For mass tort claims involving something like an airline accident, train accident, chemical spill, or other harmful events, the injury victim is likely to have to be able to prove negligence for their case to succeed.

Establishing negligence requires being able to show the following:

  • The company or organization accused of liability had a duty of care that they breached
  • The breach in duty of care was the direct cause of an injury or illness that resulted in damages

In some cases, the injury victim may also be expected to prove that the harm they suffered was foreseeable by the company. Proving this often requires showing that they knew or should have known about the harm their actions were capable of causing.

What Exactly Is a Mass Tort Claim?

The word “tort” refers to a wrongful or careless action taken by a person or a company that gives rise to an injury or illness or some other form of measurable harm. By extension, a “mass tort” refers to situations where a single company or organization harmed a large group of people through the same action.

Examples of mass tort claims include:

  • Injuries inflicted by a dangerous product
  • Products that cause cancer or some other serious illness
  • Accidents caused by the negligence of a train operator, commercial airline, or another common carrier
  • Accidents that cause multiple injuries all at once, such as a building collapse, concert stampede, mass shooting, or other similar event

Mass Tort vs. MDL vs. Class Action Lawsuit

Mass torts share many similar qualities with multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases and class action lawsuits, but there are a number of important distinctions between all three.

MDL

Multidistrict litigation involves a single trial held at a single venue (court location) but that involves multiple different claims with different types of damages. MDLs are formed automatically by a Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) when multiple cases all share a common named liable party across multiple court jurisdictions. They must also have what the American Bar Association refers to as “a common question of fact,” such as the question of who is liable for the harms suffered by a group of individuals.

While MDLs are similar to mass torts in that multiple cases are filed, mass tort cases can be filed within different courts for different types of damages all stemming from a single act, accident, or harmful product release.

Class Action Lawsuits

In a class action lawsuit, either the plaintiffs or the allegedly liable party will request that all separate cases with a similar collective harm inflicted be rolled up into one large federal case, with one set of representatives acting as the named plaintiff. Unlike MDL and mass tort cases, all victims must receive an equal share of the eventual damages awarded. Further, the court must approve any agreement made, including any out-of-court settlements.

While class action lawsuits reduce the complexity of seeking compensation from a company that harmed you, they also block the ability to request damages for higher levels of harm suffered, and they can also often prevent further legal action from taking place related to the same incident or harmful product.

Work With an Experienced Mass Tort Law Firm

The Personal Injury Lawyers ™ has a high degree of experience handling cases involving federal law, mass torts, MDL, and even class action lawsuits. We are prepared to represent you and your family to the best of our ability, helping you to seek recovery of all damages you have suffered.

When you are ready to take the first steps towards holding careless companies accountable, we are here for you. Get in touch with someone who will listen and help you fight for the compensation you deserve when you call (312) 999-9990 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

OFFICE

The Personal Injury Lawyers ™
77 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601