What is Class Actions, Mass Torts and MultiDistrict Litigation?

When a defendant’s conduct results in harming a large number of people in the same way, this creates Class Action lawsuits or Mass Tort lawsuits. For example, if an employer fails to pay overtime to employees in compliance with federal wage and hour law, then a Class Action on behalf of the employees is created. Or, when a pharmaceutical company produces a drug but fails to warn the user that it will double the risk of heart attack, a Mass Tort is initiated. Whether Class Action or Mass Tort, The Cochran Firm – Dothan has extensive experience in both fields.

What is the difference between a Class Action and a Mass Tort Claim?

A “tort” is a legal word for a “wrongful action” that causes harm to someone else. Sometimes several people – even thousands – can be injured by a single wrongful action, thus creating a “mass” tort. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the defendant’s wrongdoing and the resulting injuries may be best addressed through a Class Action. In a Class Action lawsuit, a representative brings a lawsuit on behalf of a group of claimants and essentially stands in the shoes of the rest of the class members. When a “representative” cannot adequately represent a claimant, then the claimants file their own lawsuits. These individual lawsuits are called Mass Tort Claims.

What do I need to know
about Class Actions?

A Class Action is when a representative brings a lawsuit on behalf of a group of people who have been harmed in the same way by the same conduct of the same defendant(s). The representative stands in place of the rest of the people in the class and all the members of the class are treated as one party. After the representative files a lawsuit, a court will ultimately decide whether the proposed class of people have claims that can be managed in one litigation and whether the representative can adequately stand in for the class.

Types of Class Action

Typically, a Class Action focuses on economic harm or injunctive relief (requiring the defendant to do something) rather than physical harm. The advantage of a Class Action is that it allows a group of people who might not ordinarily be able to afford to litigate against a large corporation to pool their resources and prosecute their claims as one group.

Our Experience

The Cochran Firm – Dothan has a wide variety of experience in prosecuting Class Actions across the United States against some of the largest corporations in the country. Litigation Class Actions requires a thorough knowledge of the special Class Action laws in state and federal courts, as well as the experience in coordinating discovery and managing trial plans to ensure the Class Action is efficiently managed and tried to a verdict. You should ensure that the law firm representing you has experience in prosecuting Class Actions and sufficient financial and technological resources, as well as staffing to meet the rigorous demands of Class Actions.