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Expert Mass Tort Lawyers: Navigating the Complex World of Mass Torts Law

When tragedy strikes not just one but hundreds or thousands of people, the wake of suffering can be immense. Families left grieving lost loved ones. Individuals coping with life-changing illnesses or injuries. Communities reeling from environmental disasters. In situations where widespread injuries or casualties have resulted from corporate negligence or misconduct, how does the law ensure justice on such a mass scale? When victims band together to demand justice and reform, they ensure that no company escapes accountability - no matter how powerful. This is the domain of mass tort law.

Victims of widespread tragedy deserve skilled, compassionate counsel to help them obtain necessary compensation, medical care and accountability. If you're a survivor living with the negative effects of defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, environmental disasters or related mass harm events, you shouldn't have to bear this burden alone. At Wettermark Keith, we understand that your suffering is real and deserving of justice. Our mass tort litigation team has combined decades of experience holding corporations liable for negligence and serving the needs of grieving victims. Our attorneys will stand by your side as long as necessary, providing counsel and representation through the most overwhelming of situations. By working together, we can enact meaningful change on a grand scale. Call Wettermark Keith at (877) 715-9300 for a free consultation with our legal team, or contact us through our website.

What is a Mass Tort?

A mass tort is a type of legal scenario that arises when misconduct, negligence or deficiencies in safety standards result in widespread injuries or deaths, harming large groups of people. Mass torts stand apart from typical personal injury cases due to the vast number of victims affected and complex legal factors involved.

A wide variety of scenarios can lead to mass tort litigation:

Defective medical devices like hip implants, IUD birth control, or diabetes pumps that malfunction, fracture or have flawed designs leading to serious widespread complications.

Dangerous prescription drugs that make it to market with undisclosed side effects or risks that cause casualties and medical episodes in huge patient populations.

Environmental disasters such as oil spills, groundwater contamination, air pollution, or asbestos exposure that cause deadly illnesses and health conditions in surrounding communities.

Consumer products with hazardous materials, like cleaning supplies, cosmetics, furniture or children's toys, that through prolonged use negatively impact consumer health.

Medical malpractice, such as preventable errors, or poor facility policies that cause pervasive problems across hospitals and health networks, leading to widespread casualties.

Product defects like faulty airbags, fire-prone home appliances, or contamination of food products that affect huge swaths of consumers across cities, countries or globally.

Ultimately, the common factor underlying these cases is corporate or organizational negligence resulting in mass casualties - hundreds to potentially hundreds of thousands of injured victims seeking accountability and compensation through the justice system. The extensive number of those affected separates mass torts from typical personal injury cases involving just individuals or small groups. Successfully litigating mass torts requires attorneys highly experienced in navigating the intricacies of mass injury law, proving negligence on a grand scale, and coordinating large groups of plaintiffs. Damages for mass tort victims also tend to be higher due to more severe injuries.

Mass Torts and Personal Injury Law: Overlapping Legal Fields

Mass tort law heavily overlaps with personal injury law, as both involve seeking damages for injuries inflicted upon innocent victims. Personal injury law generally pertains to individual incidents causing harm such as:

Car, truck and motorcycle accidents

Slip and fall accidents

Defective products harming individuals

Medical malpractice

Workplace injuries

While personal injury suits may involve a handful of plaintiffs, mass torts deal with harm enacted on a much grander scale. Both legal practices aim to recover damages like:

Medical expenses from injuries

Lost income and future earning capacity

Pain, suffering and emotional distress

Punitive damages to deter negligence

A key difference is that mass torts require expert attorneys specifically skilled in navigating complex mass injury litigation, compiling extensive evidence, coordinating large plaintiff groups, and taking on powerful big-industry defendants. Handling mass torts differs greatly from standard personal injury suits. The complexity and high stakes require legal experts devoted solely to representing mass tort victims. An experienced mass torts lawyer can make all the difference in justly compensating victims of widespread tragedy.

Class Action Lawsuits vs. Mass Torts

Some mistakenly group mass torts under the umbrella of class action lawsuits. However, important distinctions exist - class action lawsuits consolidate plaintiffs into a single class, with all victims treated as a group. Individuals who suffered distinct injuries can't bring their specific legal claims in a class action.

With mass torts, each plaintiff is recognized as having experienced unique losses. Victims don't surrender their individual legal rights. This allows for more tailored cases focused on a person's particular damages. For instance, two plaintiffs suing over the same defective medical device may have experienced very different injuries requiring distinct evidence and arguments.

Mass torts also tend to involve higher value compensation on average, as cases concentrate on individual nuances. Since rewards aren't evenly distributed across an entire class, greater recoveries are possible for people suffering the most severe harm.

Why Mass Torts Matter: Seeking Justice for the Injured

When an individual is hurt due to corporate negligence, the legal system allows victims to pursue compensation through personal injury law. But all too often, disasters on a massive scale are incorrectly viewed as inevitable outliers of modern life. Corporations try distancing themselves from moral and legal culpability. Mass tort law rejects this notion, ensuring that no entity can escape accountability for inflicting horrific mass harm. By empowering victims to unite around a common cause, mass torts send a powerful message: human health and dignity matter. Most importantly, mass tort lawsuits allow voices that could easily be ignored if people tried battling wealthy corporations alone to instead become a force for positive change and a means for individual and group justice.

    The Benefits of Joining a Mass Torts Lawsuit: Strength in Numbers

    In the wake of devastating mass injuries, taking legal action may feel like the last thing on victims’ minds as they focus on healing and rebuilding their lives. Some may understandably choose moving on over undertaking a long, stressful lawsuit.

    However, taking part in mass tort litigation can greatly benefit victims in ways that outweigh the difficulties of legal action. By grouping similar claims together, mass torts offer advantages personal injury suits alone can lack. These include:

    Reimbursement for medical expenses needed to treat injuries

    Reimbursement of lost income and long-term earning power

    Compensation for physical pain, mental anguish and reduced quality of life

    Punitive damages to deter and punish negligence

    By banding together under the law, victims create a collective voice that's far harder for companies to ignore.

    Current Mass Tort Cases:

    Our firm currently represents clients in several major ongoing mass torts lawsuits. Some ongoing mass tort cases include:

    Valsartan Recall: Widely-used blood pressure and heart failure drug Valsartan was discovered to contain a probable human carcinogen in its ingredients, putting millions at cancer risk.

    Juul Addiction & Injury: This e-cigarette maker aggressively marketed vaping to teens and downplayed nicotine risks, fueling youth addiction. Serious vaping-related lung illnesses emerged, sending people to hospitals.

    3M Earplug Hearing Loss & Tinnitus: Military service members were harmed by defective 3M combat earplugs that loosened imperceptibly allowing damaging noise to enter. Thousands now suffer hearing loss or ringing ears. 3M knew of defects but failed to warn troops relying on these essential devices.

    IVC Filter Failure: Optional blood clot filters implanted in the inferior vena cava vein can migrate and fracture, causing severe internal bleeding and even death. Manufacturers pushed these risky devices as safe options. Their negligence endangered patients who underwent IVC filter procedures.

    Cancer Caused by Roundup® Exposure: Monsanto's popular weedkiller Roundup contains probable carcinogen glyphosate linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma blood cancer. Monsanto suppressed data on risks, letting Roundup spread unchecked. Users developed cancer after repeated exposure.

    Exactech Knee Replacement Failure: Polyethylene components in Exactech knee implants wore down faster than expected, causing early failures. Affected patients had to undergo invasive revision surgery to replace failed implants.

    If you've been impacted by any of these defective products or dangerous drugs, our mass tort attorneys are prepared to defend your rights.

    Call us at (877) 715-9300 for a free consultation.

    Proving Liability in Mass Torts

    Behind the legalese, mass tort cases boil down to proving severe wrongdoing resulting in substantial harm. Liability components include:

    Duty of Care - Did defendants have a responsibility towards plaintiffs? For example, drug firms owe patients a basic duty of safety not to hide medication risks.

    Breach of Duty - Did defendants fail to uphold their duty? Hiding known risks of side effects breaches the duty of transparency and safety.

    Injury Causation - Were plaintiffs' injuries directly caused by defendants' breach of duty? Evidence like medical records can tie reactions to hidden drug risks.

    Damages - What specific losses resulted from injuries, like medical bills, lost wages, or disability? Quantifying plaintiffs' suffering paints a picture of the true damage wrought by defendants' actions.

    Mass tort laws balance accountability with efficiency. Unique regulations governing mass torts, such as multidistrict litigation (MDL), allow similar federal cases to consolidate under one judge for streamlined pre-trial processes.

    The Process of Filing a Mass Torts Lawsuit:

    Most mass torts follows the below general litigation process, tailored to the specifics of each case:

    Investigation - Our mass torts attorneys heavily investigate to gather solid evidence of misconduct and damages.

    Filing - using evidence, lawsuits are filed in proper courts on victims' behalf in state or federal courts.

    Discovery - In discovery, newly revealed internal documents, memos, emails and reports shed more light on defendants' culpability.

    Negotiation - Experienced mass tort lawyers negotiate fiercely with defendants, leveraging evidence to secure adequate compensation. Most mass torts settle out of court.

    Trial - If equitable settlements can't be reached, cases go to trial. Our attorneys will never settle for less than you deserve.

    Resolution - Settlements or trial verdicts award victims damages like lost income, medical bills and pain and suffering recovery.

    Compensation in Mass Tort Litigation

    Mass tort litigation often involves incredibly high stakes. Settlement values reached through negotiation or awarded by juries often climb into the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for severely injured plaintiffs.
    Compensatory damages making up these immense sums include:

      Medical Expenses: Current and ongoing costs of hospitalizations, procedures, medications and devices for treating mass tort injuries add up quickly for victims. Those severely harmed accrue astronomical medical debt due to others' misdeeds.

      Lost Income: For victims disabled or unable to work because of injuries, calculating lost earning capacity and benefits like retirement funds helps recoup those financial lifelines.

      Pain and Suffering: No dollar amount can quantify human agony. But compensation acknowledges victims' physical pain, mental trauma, emotional distress and reduced quality of life resulting from defendants' actions.

      Loss of Consortium: Injuries limiting intimacy, companionship and family life translate to further suffering deserving compensation.

      Punitive Damages: Egregious wrongdoing warrants punitive damages levied against defendants as punishment and deterrence of similar future misconduct. Certain state laws place caps on punitive awards.

      Settlements avoid the uncertainty of trials. However, trial verdicts sometimes exceed settlement offers by huge margins. Experienced lawyers guide victims to the best path. With your wellbeing at stake, putting your outcome in capable hands is critical.

        Settlements vs. Trials in Mass Torts: Weighing Your Options

        In mass tort litigation, most victims elect to settle for a variety of compelling reasons:

          Settlements provide guaranteed money now rather than gambling on uncertain trial verdicts years down the road.

          Trials involuntarily expose victims' private lives when testifying. Settling allows avoiding public scrutiny.

          Corporations have endless resources to draw out courtroom proceedings and grind down plaintiffs, a war of attrition. Trials favor those with deepest pockets.

          Losing at trial after years invested in litigation means walking away empty-handed. There's no certainty juries will rule favorably.

          Settlement deals often have terms allowing victims to receive some payouts immediately while structuring additional payments over time, especially helpful for mounting medical costs.

          But for victims who suffered egregious harms, seeking justice through trial may feel more satisfying than settling. Factors favoring trial include:

            Cases with strong, irrefutable evidence of negligence and deception. Juries resent dishonest corporations.

            For plaintiffs left severely disabled, now unable to work and requiring lifelong medical care, a settlement offer may be inadequate to meet their needs.

            The ability to publicly expose misconduct by corporations sacrificing people for profits. Settlements allow companies to evade transparency.

            Injuries causing fatalities. Money cannot mend these losses, but holding companies criminally and civilly liable sends a powerful message.


            Our 3-Step Process

            Connect With Us:

            Call our office at (877) 715-9300 or use our online form to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our legal team.

            We Assess Your Case

            In our initial review, our experienced team will analyze the details of your case and map out potential strategies. If you've experienced an injury due to negligence, we’ll assign one of our expert personal injury attorneys to handle your case.

            We Defend Your Rights

            As one of the Southeast’s top personal injury firms, Wettermark Keith is fully committed to advocating for your rightful compensation and recovery. If an injury has disrupted your life, let our dedicated attorneys seek justice on your behalf.

            Frequently Asked Questions

            Individuals who have been harmed by a common product, action, or event, such as a defective medical device, harmful medication, or environmental hazard, can file a mass tort lawsuit. Typically, if numerous individuals have suffered similar injuries under similar circumstances, they can approach a mass tort attorney to explore their legal options.

            Not necessarily. Many mass tort claims are settled out of court. However, if a fair settlement isn't reached, we will defend your interests all the way to the courtroom.

            The compensation in a mass tort lawsuit can cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the harm suffered. The exact amount varies based on individual circumstances, the extent of the injury, and the details of the case.

            Mass torts cover a wide range of cases, including defective medical devices, harmful pharmaceutical drugs, environmental hazards, and more. Any situation where a significant number of individuals are harmed by a common cause could potentially qualify as a mass tort.

            While a plaintiff can file a lawsuit in their home state, certain factors might influence where the case is heard, such as where the defendant is located, where the injury occurred, or where the product was manufactured. Often, mass tort cases are consolidated in one court to streamline the process.

            The Role of a Mass Tort Lawyer

            In a mass tort case, specialized mass tort lawyers step in to represent the collective interests of those affected by widespread tragedies. Mass tort litigation is vastly complex - with medical, scientific, economic and ethical factors at play - and these attorneys carry the immense responsibility of building strong, airtight cases with extensive evidence, facing down wealthy corporations, and securing rightful compensation for large groups of plaintiffs. Experienced mass torts lawyers are equipped to assist you with the following:

            Collecting evidence in the form of corporate documentation, medical records, internal communications and industry research

            Crafting tailored legal strategies, using their expertise to leverage laws like negligence, product liability, failure to warn, breach of warranty, and consumer protections to hold defendants accountable.

            Filing personalized lawsuits for individual plaintiffs that demonstrate how victims were specifically harmed by misconduct.

            Organizing large plaintiff groups by contacting other affected individuals and convincing them to pursue litigation.

            Directing multifaceted investigations using contacts like researchers, medical professionals and industry insiders to bolster claims.

            Performing lengthy negotiations that pressure defendants like drug companies into offering equitable settlements compensating victims.

            Trying complex cases in court if fair settlements can't be secured. Mass tort trial experience is a specialized skill.

            Collaborating with other skilled mass torts attorneys across plaintiff groups to execute coordinated strategies.

            Why Choose a Specialized Mass Tort Attorney?

            While any personal injury lawyer has good intentions helping clients, mass tort cases pose unique obstacles. General legal practitioners often lack the tailored expertise and network of support to handle litigation at such a massive scale. This can lead to poor outcomes for deserving plaintiffs. Choosing an attorney specifically dedicated to representing mass tort victims is crucial to the success of your case. Look for these indicators of expertise:

            Years or decades handling mass torts cases with a successful track record. Nothing replaces trial experience.

            Access to firm resources - like extensive legal teams and financial abilities - in case trials grow lengthy. Mass torts can last for years.

            Relationships with other top mass torts attorneys who collaborate on evidence gathering, strategy and settlements.

            Why Choose Wettermark Keith?

            At Wettermark Keith, we recognize the deep-seated impact of collective harm and understand the nuances that distinguish mass torts from other legal fields. Our mass tort lawyers have played instrumental roles in holding large corporations and entities accountable, making sure that the collective voices of victims are heard and felt by those in power. With a commitment to meticulous research, thorough evidence gathering, and an unwavering dedication to each plaintiff's unique story, our team ensures that every client is given the support and advocacy they need to move forward and obtain the compensation they deserve.

            We realize you may be struggling with financial strain. For your benefit, we provide free, no-obligation case evaluations. You will pay nothing unless we secure compensation on your behalf - and you will never owe us anything upfront or out-of-pocket. We believe that you deserve justice - and to this end, your lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure you receive full compensation for your pain. Schedule your free consultation today at (877) 715-9300 or through our website. During this free evaluation, we will thoroughly assess the details of your case.

            Wettermark Keith, with offices located throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, has an excellent reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury firms in the country. Our reach is not only regional but includes a diverse range of practice areas, including premises liability law, personal injury cases, auto wrecks, trucking wrecks, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, on-the-job injuries, social security disability, and veterans’ disability claims, to name just a few. At Wettermark Keith, we believe in taking cases personally. Our purpose is to practice with care and compassion- to tell our clients’ stories and make their voices heard. We do this by building strong relationships based on constant communication and an unwavering dedication to truth and trust. You should never wonder what’s going on with your case. We will keep you in the loop and represent you as if you are family- because to us, you are.

            Wettermark Keith was extremely professional and helpful. This personal injury law firm helped my husband over 10 years ago when he fell and broke his foot on vacation. I called them first because I liked their TV commercials. They are very nice people and I would call them again if I needed a lawyer.

            - Juanita

            Law firm Wettermark Keith has exceeded my expectations! I recommend these lawyers to anyone and everyone I come across. Their commitment to their clients is outstanding. Communication is easy. And I got my settlement very fast. I definitely recommend working with Lee Hawker. He is very gracious and kind. He looked out for me and my family and went above and beyond for us. I’m very grateful!

            - Alexa

            My personal embattlement with the Social Security Administration went downhill. From a personal recommendation, I reached out to Wettermark Keith law firm. Brian Smith and his team took my case and throughout the whole process, I felt more than just another number. Frequent updates were provided, and emphasis was placed on ensuring all needed documentation was in place. In the end, the accident case resulted in a favorable victory. A big thank you to my lawyer Brian Smith and the team at Wettermark Keith for the hard work throughout the entire personal injury process.

            - Dallas

            I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Mark English at Wettermark Keith law firm after my car accident in December 2021. He was very thorough in everything, did a wonderful job of explaining everything that was happening, and was super easy to get in touch with when I needed him. I never had a question that was left unanswered by this lawyer. He's very kind and patient, and he made the personal injury claims process so easy for me. I absolutely recommend him, it was a pleasure working with him!

            - Rose

            I am so elated that I utilized Mr. Muhammad Abdullah’s services. In the beginning, he told me the compensation that I would receive for my personal injury claim and I actually received more than that! After my car wreck (in my brand-new vehicle), I was actually surprised that I was in the pain that I was in. Mr. Abdullah made sure I saw the necessary people for therapy and worked hard to get me back into my car after the accident. I felt that he was diligent, listened to my concerns, and quickly got me back in my car and compensated! I will be utilizing Mr. Abdullah again and again, anytime I ever have to hire a lawyer.

            - Madinah