Morgantown Mass Torts Lawyer
When the negligence of a large company or organization injures many people, the victims may be able to band together into a mass tort. If you are among a large group of people that suffered from a similar injury, you might be entitled to compensation.
Trying to pursue a mass tort claim on your own, however, can be daunting without assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney. A Morgantown mass torts lawyer could evaluate your situation and discuss your legal options.
Defining Mass Torts
Mass torts are a subsection of personal injury law that deals with large groups of individuals. A tort is a civil wrong that could lead to legal liability. As the name suggests, mass torts involve a large number of people who suffered from someone else’s wrongful conduct. The following are common causes of mass tort cases:
- Environmental torts
- Toxic torts
- Manufacturing defects
- Pharmaceutical drug injuries
- Unfair business practices
Typically, victims have suffered a common injury or damages as a result of one or more entities’ careless or reckless actions. In the interest of efficiency, the court joins these injured parties together as plaintiffs to bring their cause of action against a defendant or group of defendants.
Mass tort litigation is often confused with class-action lawsuits because class actions also involve a large number of plaintiffs. Class action lawsuits are brought under federal law and require plaintiffs to meet a certain set of criteria as a “class” in order to pursue litigation. In contrast, mass torts do not bunch the plaintiffs into a class or require them to meet a criterion. They only require the legal facts and issues to be similar. Mass tort plaintiffs in Morgantown are treated as separate individuals who each must prove their own facts.
Pursuing Mass Tort Claims in Morgantown
Proving the Case
There could be many factors that influence how a group of mass tort plaintiffs have to prove their case. There are usually common elements of negligence that have to be shown, in addition to whatever other elements might be present in the cause of action.
Plaintiffs generally have to show that the defendant owed them a duty of care to protect them from unreasonable risk of harm, the defendant breached that duty, and the breach caused the victim to suffer damages. For example, in a toxic torts case, the mass torts plaintiffs in Morgantown would each need to prove that they were exposed to the defendant’s toxic substance, which caused their injuries.
State Laws and Regulations
A statute of limitations imposes a time limit on a plaintiff’s right to sue. For personal injury actions, West Virginia Code §55-2-12 states that plaintiffs generally have two years from the date of the accident to file their case.
In West Virginia, the Mass Litigation Panel, a group of judges, handles cases involving multiple plaintiffs who were injured or killed due to a common cause. The purpose of the Mass Litigation Panel is to help facilitate efficiency for mass tort litigation within the state. Some mass torts cases might be argued before a regular judge, but plaintiffs may request that the panel step in to resolve their case.
How a Morgantown Mass Torts Attorney Could Help
If you are suffering from a serious injury or disease, you might not be alone. There could be others just like you who are struggling to recover. The entities that caused your situation should be punished for their actions, and they should compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured. A dedicated Morgantown mass torts lawyer might be able to review the circumstances of your case and help you move forward to the recovery you deserve. Call now to discuss your case.