Mass Torts in Defective Drug Cases

By August 14, 2014Dangerous Drugs

Defective drug litigation often involves hundreds or thousands of different people who have all been harmed by the same medication. When a drug turns out to be dangerous, the medication was usually taken by people all over the country. Each of the individuals who took the medication faces the risk of adverse side effects. Anyone who gets sick or injured can bring a claim for compensation, so there could be many different defective drug claims filed all across the country. 

It would be very time consuming and inefficient for each of the thousands of defective drug cases to proceed independently in different courts. Instead, the cases can all become part of a mass tort claim.  Becoming a part of a mass tort may be a quicker and easier way for you to get compensation if you are harmed by a medication you are taking, but you need to speak with an attorney to see if this is the right legal option for you. The St. Louis defective drug lawyers at Carey, Danis & Lowe have represented many clients in defective drug cases and we can help you to determine the best approach to take to making your claim. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Understanding Defective Drug Cases and Mass Torts

There are several different kinds of mass tort cases that can be used to resolve defective drug claims.  One common type of mass tort is a class action lawsuit, which many people are familiar with.  A class action is one big case with a lot of different plaintiffs who have all suffered a similar type of harm because of a common cause. There may be a small group of plaintiffs who are “named” plaintiffs and who are actively involved in the case. Most people, however, simply join the class and do not have a lot of control over the outcome of the case. An individual who is harmed by a defective product can join a class action and never go to court or talk to a lawyer about the case.

With a class action, the victims have very little control over their case or the compensation that they receive if they opt in.  As a result, this may not be the best type of mass tort for resolving defective drug cases, especially if different patients have suffered different degrees of harm due to the dangerous drug.

Another option for resolving defective drug cases is multidistrict litigation. With a multidistrict litigation, you do not give up your independent claim. Each individual plaintiff has his or her own case. However, all of the defective drug cases arising from the same medication are moved before one judge. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will oversee this process. Since the judge will make some decisions that apply to all cases, like whether a certain piece of evidence is admissible, moving the cases before one judge just makes sense. The judge can decide on issues common to all of the defective drug cases just one time.

If you were harmed by a dangerous drug or medical device, a mass tort may be the right option for getting compensation. However, you should always speak with an attorney first. Contact Carey, Danis & Lowe to learn more about the best way for you to pursue a damage claim.

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