Kansas City Mass Tort Attorneys
With increased globalization and nationwide distribution of goods, combined with a constant feed of media and news as well as product regulations, mass tort litigation is becoming increasingly important in today’s society. For catastrophic events involving pharmaceutical products, medical devices, dangerous consumer products, or exposure to toxic substances, mass tort litigation serves as a legal means in which those affected, en masse, can sue a common target, such as the corporation or other individuals that caused injury.
Mass tort cases in Missouri can be long and very complex processes, though the rewards can be substantial for both the individuals as well as society at-large. For any mass tort case, it is imperative to get legal guidance and representation from an experienced team of Kansas City mass tort attorneys. For effective, diligent, and aggressive representation, contact the Popham Law Firm today.
Understanding Mass Tort
In their totality, including the processes by which they are conducted in court, mass torts are highly complex. Mass injury litigation didn’t become commonplace until the 1980s and it is continuing to evolve in US and state law. However, the fundamentals behind mass tort litigation are fairly simple. In short, mass tort is a single tort where injury occurred to many individuals, and therefore there are many plaintiffs seeking compensation from one defendant (or several defendants as part of a singular group). The defendants in these cases often acted negligently, and it was the negligence of the company or overseeing party that caused injury.
In Kansas City, if there is a large group of plaintiffs seeking to hold a party accountable for the defendant’s negligence, it is up to their attorney to acquire permission from the court to file mass tort action. The court then determines if the case is suitable for mass tort based on some of the following conditions, including:
- The number of plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit
- Whether the injuries incurred by the plaintiffs are essentially similar
- Whether the injuries are based on a common cause, single product, or disaster
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These are just a few of the many factors that the court considers when determining if a mass tort suit is justifiable. If so, the presiding judge at the court can order the tort to be published in newspapers, asking any other victims of the negligent action to come forward if they wish.
Differences Between Class Action and Mass Tort
At this point, a mass tort lawsuit sounds very familiar to a class action lawsuit, but it is important to remember that these two types of litigation are procedurally quite different. In a class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs are grouped into a single party, as opposed to remaining individuals, and there is only one trial. Mass tort, on the other hand, simply means a large group of similar cases, where each plaintiff has an individual claim that results from distinct damages.
Compensations, Liens and Post-Resolution Matters
Mass torts have several advantages, and when a large number of people are injured and seeking compensation from a similar personal injury, filing for a mass tort can ease the process and help victims recover damages in a more streamlined manner. For example, investigations and preparation for cases often transfer from one plaintiff to the next. Attorneys often take more active roles in these cases, resulting in a cost-effective means for plaintiffs to hold negligent party(s) responsible. Additionally, the large number of plaintiffs eases the defendant’s proof of claims, encouraging the defendant to settle.
However, depending on the defendant, various liens could exist that would greatly slow fund distribution to clients. Medical liens, third-party liens, governmental liens, and others can be quite numerous, and although the Popham Law Firm boasts the resources and expertise to address liens en masse in a timely manner, receiving compensation from damages is not immediate. Additionally, “downtime” between the various parts of the case (investigations, motions, settlement negotiations, trial, and collection of settlement or award) can take sometimes weeks or even months.
Contact the Popham Law Firm Today
The attorney is one of the central players in a mass tort case, and as such, it is imperative to choose an attorney or law firm who is capable of handling such complex and wide-reaching cases. As one of Kansas City’s most prominent and respected law firms, The Popham Law Firm takes mass tort cases very seriously. With a team of lawyers dedicated to protecting people, we’ll aggressively pursue the mass tort lawsuit with the ultimate goal of holding those responsible to the highest effects of Missouri law. To pursue a mass tort claim, you can make an appointment to visit our downtown Kansas City offices on 712 Broadway or contact us at (816) 221-2288.