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Houston Mass Torts Lawyer

Houston Mass Tort Lawyer
There are many areas within the practice of law that attorneys specialize in, and one of those our firm focuses on is mass torts. These cases involve individual plaintiffs who’ve suffered a shared personal injury, such as harm from their use of a dangerous or defective product, filing and settling their cases individually. Those people who are adversely affected come to a Houston mass torts lawyer, like one of ours, to take legal action against negligent parties, like manufacturers, whose negligent actions affected them.

While pursuing a mass torts action is the best choice for some, it isn’t ideal for others. Pursuing a class action lawsuit may be best for individuals facing certain legal matters. So, please contact our firm for a free, no-strings-attached initial consultation to discuss what you have endured and whether filing a standalone claim is right for you.

Reasons Mass Tort Lawsuits Get Filed

As referenced above, while mass torts filings can occur for many different reasons, our practice focuses on cases associated with personal injuries and, more specifically, product liability issues, a category into which cases like the following may fall:

  • Defective cars or auto parts
  • Toys manufactured using toxic paints that cause lead poisoning
  • Dangerous food products resulting in illnesses or fatalities
  • Contaminated medications or prescription drugs that cause harmful side effects and other adverse patient outcomes
  • Landscaping or agricultural products, like weedkillers, that pose a cancer risk unbeknownst to users
  • Manufacturers who produce defective medical devices that cause infections, pain, functional impairments, and other health-related complications

How These Actions Differ from Class Action Lawsuits

The extent of injuries that result from the use of a dangerous or defective product, such as a medication, toy, food product, etc., can vary widely. While some individuals may suffer minor injuries or fall ill temporarily, others may sustain permanently disabling or health-affecting conditions or lose their lives. This is the main delineator between situations where plaintiffs opt to file lawsuits individually via mass torts or as part of a class.

Since attorneys and court fees can be costly and settlements can be lower in cases with non-lasting impairments, those parties tend to join class action lawsuits to share legal costs. On the flip side of the coin, victims who suffer more catastrophic or fatal injuries often opt to file suit individually because they have a very strong standalone case. In addition, they do so because there’s no need to have the case certified as is the case with class action claims, and it means that the merits of their case may be heard by a unique judge and jury who may render different decisions from other cases. Additionally, it doesn’t necessitate them sharing their settlement with other plaintiffs.

Understanding What a Multidistrict Litigation Lawsuit Is

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is one aspect of the mass torts process. It involves the often-temporary consolidation of similar legal actions whereby plaintiffs claim they were subject to the same course of conduct from the defendant within the federal district court system. Courts tend to consolidate cases involving plaintiffs suffering similar injuries and the same facts to prove to consolidate judges’ time. Typically, all pre-trial motions and discovery issues would be handled by the district court, with cases only reverting back to the lower courts if an out-of-court settlement is not reached.

In some instances, plaintiffs who individually file suit before another will have their cases move their way through the legal system (the lower court) without ever being consolidated with others. In these instances, the decision the Court makes in that case will shape how other judges rule in similar matters in their jurisdiction. Those previously decided cases are commonly referred to as bellwether cases.

What Type of Legal Action Should You Take?

Sometimes, the only way for victims with smaller losses to take legal action is to do so by joining a class action since the legal fees alone to pursue such a case would be cost-prohibitive. However, there are situations where a class hasn’t yet been formed, the adverse outcomes you’ve suffered from using a product are different from or more serious than others (and thus liability may belong to someone else), or there may be other nuances or extraneous factors.

This is why we recommend that you reach out to our firm, Barrera Law Group LLC, to discuss the specifics surrounding your case. In turn, you can expect our attorneys to provide insight into whether they believe your matter is worth pursuing individually or as part of a class. Meeting with a Houston mass torts lawyer in our office for an initial consultation is completely free, so contact us now.

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