If you have been injured by a defective medical device (such as transvaginal mesh or an IVC filter), your biggest concerns are most likely getting the medical attention you need to deal with your injuries and manage your pain as well as obtaining the financial recovery you are owed under the law for those injuries. The exact methods by which those results are reached are no doubt less important to you when you are in both physical and financial stress. But, as an injured victim, you are the one in the driver's seat regarding how you pursue your claim and it is ultimately up to you to take the initial steps in choosing an attorney who will win that recovery for you. One aspect of this decision is in choosing whether to join a class action or mass tort lawsuit or to instead pursue an individual claim.
The Difference Between a Class Action and Mass Tort
Both a class action and mass tort lawsuit will consolidate numerous plaintiff claims into one lawsuit managed by an attorney or group of attorneys. There are some clear advantages to both types of actions, specifically:
- Because defective medical device cases are often extremely complex both from a technical and a procedural perspective, involving voluminous and complicated data and analysis, an attorney heading up a class action or mass tort can more easily pursue the same claims on behalf of all claimants
- More claimants with compelling claims brought by the same attorneys provides more leverage against manufacturers in winning large settlements
- The individual plaintiffs often shoulder less personal responsibility in pursuing the claims
That said, one main difference between a class action and a mass tort is essentially procedural. There are specific state and federal procedural rules for what qualifies as a class action (namely, the similarity between the claims), and so defective medical device cases where the individual damages may be more varied across victims might be brought as a mass tort rather than a class action. Ultimately, plaintiffs can pursue large settlements in both types of cases, and an attorney can guide you to the action that is right for your circumstance.
Bringing an Individual Defective Medical Device Claim
In any case, a plaintiff does have an option of bringing a medical device claim on his or her own, and that may indeed be the best option depending on the specific situation. But, in most cases, if a medical device is truly defective, then numerous people will likely have been injured by it in similar manners and, again, leveraging a group of plaintiffs in bringing a complex, high-stakes defective medical device may be the best route to obtaining maximum recovery. By speaking with an experienced defective medical device attorney, you can determine whether a class action, mass tort, or individual claim is best in your specific case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Herrington Law
The mass tort and class action litigation attorneys at Herrington Law have decades of experience in bringing and winning product liability suits on behalf of injured victims throughout Mississippi and elsewhere. Firm founder Brian Herrington is dedicated to fighting for the rights of individual plaintiffs to make sure that large defendants are held accountable for their defective products and that plaintiffs are fairly compensated for the injuries they will suffer over the course of their lifetime. Contact the office of Herrington Law today for a free consultation to discuss your injuries.