What is a Mass Tort?

To make it simple, a mass tort is a civil action involving a large number of plaintiffs against a single or small number of defendants for exposure to the same product that caused an injury.  It is called a “mass” tort because the injury occurred to a group of victims as a result of the use of a specific product for the same purpose. In order to maximize resources to fight the large companies, the claims are grouped together in a “class.”  The term refers to mass exposure of a defendant for their product or actions in causing injuries to a large group of plaintiffs. Mass torts often involve pharmaceuticals, vehicles, consumer products, medical devices, or toxic torts.  


There are several reasons for the increase in mass tort cases.  First, prescriptions drugs and medical devices are being rushed into the market without long term and adequate testing.  The pharmaceutical companies have lobbied Congress to streamline the FDA approval process to get drugs to the marketplace faster and as a result, more unsafe drugs have entered the market.   As a consequence, the harmful side effects which only become known after a mass release, have injured consumers. Sadly, the FDA has recalled at least twelve drugs since 1997 including:

  • Valdecoxib (Bextra) Time on the market: 2001-2005. …
  • Pemoline (Cylert) Time on the market: 1975-2010. …
  • Bromfenac (Duract) Time on the market: 1997-1998. …
  • Levamisole (Ergamisol) Time on the market: 1989-2000. …
  • Rofecoxib (Vioxx) Time on the market: 1999-2004. …
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane) …
  • Sibutramine (Meridia) …
  • Terfenadine (Seldane)
  •  Accutane
  •  Baycol,
  • Fen-Phen, 
  • Rezulin 

These were drugs taken by millions of people and yet they were deemed so unsafe as to have the FDA recall them from market. Fortunately, Plaintiff attorneys who handle mass torts coordinate their legal strategy against the large corporate defendants to prove their products injured people.  There have been many famous mass tort cases in the past which have made headlines. The first mass tort case was in the 1970’s with Agent Orange. Asbestos exposure is another example of an early mass tort case. In the 1980’s, silicone breast implants, the Dalkon Shield, and Norplant were mass torts case that made headlines and new mass tort claims have continuously emerged every year since.  The movie “Erin Brockovich” and “A Civil Action” with John Travolta which detail environmental mass torts and their devastating effects on communities and families.  


When individuals across the country sustain injuries because of a product, or company, they can take civil action through mass tort litigation against the liable parties. At TheOneLawyer.com we can review your claim and file an action or join an action on your behalf. Call us today. Claims can arise from different types of products against different defendants.  There are several primary or common claims:

  • Pharmaceutical claims involve Defective or dangerous drugs that  injured millions of victims at a time across the country. Victims who have suffered hazardous side effects can have claims against the manufacturer.
  • Consumer product claims: Involve defective products such as vehicles or any type of product that injures adults or children based on the defective product.  
  • Environmental torts: Victims who have suffered health or property damage due to environmental hazards such as toxic drinking water or chemical spills caused by corporations can join actions against the liable parties. Examples of these claims include oil spills, water contamination and other types of mass environmental disasters.

What is the Difference Between a Mass Tort and a Class Action?

Although most people think they are the same, mass torts and class actions are not the same.   The difference is in how each is handled. In a class action suit, there is one trial in one court for all the plaintiffs in the suit. In a mass tort proceeding, all the cases undergo the same pre-trial investigations and process, and are each then sent back to the local courts that were filed in. Unlike a class action claim, mass torts are handled as individual claims. This allows each victim to recover damages that are specific to their claim.


If you are not sure whether your case qualifies as a class action or a mass tort, call our office today to talk to Laura Payne-Hunt.   Our personal injury lawyers at TheOneLawyer.com are ready to listen to your situation and help you determine the right course of action to take. Your consultation is free and you do not pay any legal fees until after we settle your case.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

 At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.