Last year in Ohio, nearly 3,500 people claimed they became ill after drinking water that was contaminated with C8, a chemical made at a DuPont Co. plant, that was dumped into the Ohio River. So far, nearly $2 million has been awarded to the plaintiffs who participated in that mass tort case.
Given, however, that DuPont has dumped an estimated 50,000 lbs. or more of C8 a year into the Ohio River (which serves as a water source for nearly 100,000 people), some believe that litigation over DuPont’s C8-Ohio River contamination debacle is by no means finished.
The DuPont contaminated drinking water case is just one example of a mass tort that is currently proceeding through the U.S. court system. Others that have made headlines in recent years include:
- Defective drug cases, including the one related to Bayer AG’s blood thinning Xarelto drug (which allegedly caused unstoppable bleeding in some patients)
- Product liability cases, including those for transvaginal mesh devices made by various manufacturers (which allegedly can cause serious, possibly permanent injuries in about 1 in every 10 women).
What is a Mass Tort?
Mass torts are cases filed on behalf of a group of plaintiffs (i.e., injured people) who have similar claims. Commonly used in product liability and defective drug cases, mass torts allow a group of plaintiffs – who could have similar complaints but a range of different injuries – to be represented by one to a few attorneys during the discovery process (the pre-trial process of identifying the facts of the case, exchanging evidence, selecting bellweather cases, etc.).
Potential Benefits of Mass Tort Cases: Why Join a Mass Tort?
- Consistent rulings – Instead of individual plantiffs’ cases proceeding in different state court (where there may be different access to evidence, different rulings from different judges, etc.), in mass torts, the pre-trial decisions are made in a single court for all participating parties/involved cases.
- Less drain on the court resources – With all cases proceeding in a single federal court, the discovery process will not have to happen for each case in individual state courts, freeing up these limited and precious resources.
- Shared resources and evidence for plaintiffs – For injured people who join mass torts, they can benefit from the investigations and evidence others have already conducted/gathered for similar claims. This can be essential to helping injured people with limited means can take advantage of the pooled resources of the group.
- Effective platform for going up against big companies – In mass tort cases, it’s common for a moderate to large company to have allegedly harmed the public, resulting in injuries to tens, hundreds or possibly thousands of people. These companies have teams of lawyers who spend 100 percent of their time defending the company. Via a mass tort, however, the little guy – i.e.g, consumer – can effectively stand up to the big guy – the corporation – to pursue justice and recovery.
Contact a St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
If you have been harmed by a dangerous product – or if you have been harmed by any negligence, contact a St Louis personal injury lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law to find out more about your options for justice and compensation.
At Brown &Brown, our attorneys are committed to aggressively advocating our clients’ rights while doing working relentlessly to maximize their financial recovery.
To learn more about how we can help you, attend a free, no obligations initial consult with a St Louis personal injury lawyer at Brown & Brown. You can schedule this meeting by calling us at 573-333-3333 for our Missouri office or at 618-888-8888 for our Illinois office. You can also email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.