A drug or product injury lawsuit is a specific type of personal injury case referred to as mass tort lawsuit. The name is derived from the phrase massive torture. It’s similar in theory to a class action lawsuit and involves hundreds or even thousands of plaintiffs claiming negligence on the part of the manufacturer or corporation responsible.
With the rise of the prescription drug culture, corporate greed, and pressure on the biotech and health sciences industry, it’s no surprise that mistakes get made when bringing new products to market. Unfortunately, a misstep in manufacturing, usage, or even marketing communication can lead to grave dangers when people’s lives are at stake.
When corporate manufacturers and drug companies are negligent in ways that harm patients, civil actions are formed among a group of injured individuals and lawsuits are brought forward. You may have seen commercials for these types of cases, which ask for the viewer to call in right away if they’ve been harmed by a drug or procedure to see if they qualify. The reason for this is because the more victims that come forward, the better the lawsuit has of getting a favorable verdict for the patients.
There are three types of tort cases: mass disaster torts, mass toxic torts, and product liability torts. A prescription drug injury or a workplace exposure to toxic chemicals such as asbestos would be considered a mass toxic tort. Injury by an implant after surgery, improper warning labels, and defects that cause harm would be considered product liability.
Defendants in mass tort cases may be corporations, manufacturers, employers, pharmaceutical companies, medical organizations, distributors, retailers or anyone else that can be held responsible for the injuries their negligence caused.
As you may have guessed, these types of cases can get complicated. Because of different state laws surrounding liability and multiple plaintiffs spanning the U.S., lawyers must work together to organize and prepare all of the paperwork to make a strong case. As the individual lawsuits move forward, a multidistrict litigation is formed to consolidate legal efforts.
Drug & product lawsuits can take a while to come to an end, as multiple attorneys work across state borders to consolidate their victim’s claims into one major case. This timeline can include initial discussions with victims, gathering proof, pre-trial hearings, and more. Mass tort cases can take several months to several years to finalize. The more victims come forward, the easier it is for the attorneys to get a significant settlement for their clients.