When a dangerous product is used by millions of people, there is the potential for thousands to be injured, become ill, or die. In personal injury cases involving many plaintiffs, courts often allow the claims to be filed as a class action or mass tort action.
While these group claims are similar, there are important differences. In a class action, all plaintiffs are represented by one individual and will receive a share of a single award. In a mass tort action, however, each plaintiff files as an individual and his compensation will be determined based on his specific needs.
At Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, we represent plaintiffs in mass tort actions against drug makers, medical device manufacturers, and any corporation or government agency responsible for harming consumers.
What Is a Mass Tort?
A tort is a wrongful act, intentional or not, that results in harm to another person and does not fall primarily under a criminal statute. In other words, a tort is an act of carelessness or negligence that leaves a person or people injured, ill, or dead. It is the basis of all personal injury law and results in monetary damages paid to the plaintiff rather than criminal penalties to the perpetrator, although punitive damages may also be awarded in order to punish deliberate or outrageously irresponsible acts.
When a single tort—such as the manufacture and release of a dangerous drug—results in injury to many victims, a court may decide that all injured parties may file under a single claim, called a mass tort. For a plaintiff, filing under a mass tort claim can lead to a much quicker resolution than filing an individual claim, as the investigation and preparation that goes into a case may be shared among attorneys.
Our Experience With Mass Tort Cases
At Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, our attorneys often lead the way in mass tort and class action claims. Attorney Richard Arsenault has served on historic dangerous drug and defective medical device mass litigation, including Vioxx, Ortho Evra, Zimmer, and DePuy. We are currently involved in dozens of mass torts for dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, and consumer protection.
Among the dangerous drug cases we are accepting are the following:
- Actos. Actos regulates blood sugar for those with Type 2 diabetes, but has been linked to serious health complications including bladder cancer.
- Xarelto. A blood thinner used to prevent blood clots and treat deep-vein thrombosis, Xarelto can cause uncontrolled internal bleeding. There is no effective antidote or reversal agent available.
- NuvaRing. Blood clots, some fatal, have resulted from the use of this once-a-month vaginal contraceptive ring.
- Zoloft. When taken during pregnancy, this anti-depressant has been linked to birth defects and autism.
- Fosamax. Originally marketed as a bone-strengthener for women with osteoporosis, Fosamax, in fact, has caused thousands of women to suffer spontaneous femur fractures.
- Invokana. One of a class of diabetes medications that causes blood sugar to leave the body through urine, Invokana is known to have resulted in ketoacidosis, a serious health condition, in two dozen patients so far.
- Granuflo. Used in dialysis centers in the treatment of kidney disease, Granuflo has caused patients to suffer heart attacks, some of them fatal.
- Plavix. Commonly prescribed to prevent heart attack and stroke, Plavix has actually doubled the rate of heart attack and stroke in some patients and is associated with increased risk for moderate to severe bleeding.
- Talc. When applied in the genital area, talcum powder may contribute to increased rates of ovarian cancer.
Many medical devices are rushed to consumers before being fully tested for safety. Some of the defective devices we represent clients against include:
- INFUSE bone graft. Patients have complained of unexpected nerve pain and infection and an increased risk of cancer following an INFUSE bone graft, which introduces synthetic proteins to the body to promote new bone growth in damaged joints and vertebrae.
- Metal-on-metal hip implants. Hip replacement surgeries using one of many metal-on-metal designs have resulted in painful complications, revision surgeries, and blood poisoning.
- DaVinci robotic surgery. Touted as the surgery of the future, this space-age device is believed to have malfunctioned during certain procedures and harmed patients.
- Tekturna. A popular blood pressure medication, Tekturna has been linked to life-threatening conditions including stroke, kidney damage, high potassium levels, and dangerously low blood pressure.
- Sprint Fidelis. When you need a heart defibrillator, you need it to work. The Sprint Fidelis defibrillator, however, may have faulty lead wires causing it to misfire or fail to fire when needed.
- Transvaginal mesh. This implanted mesh is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence; women hoping for relief instead have suffered erosion of vaginal tissue, organ perforation, and infection.
We have also represented consumers in many defective product, corporate disaster, dangerous materials, and consumer fraud cases. Some ongoing mass torts include the following:
- BP oil spill
- Imprelis herbicide
- General Motors
- West Virginia water
- Azek Building Products
- H&R Block
- 5 Hour Energy
- Pella Windows
- Remington Firearms
- Shop Vac/Emerson
- Colgate Softsoap
Our Complex Litigation Attorneys Treat You As an Individual
Even when the best course of action in your defective product lawsuit is participating in a mass tort, the legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault understands that the injuries you suffered are unique and require special attention. We will never treat you like just a number in a mass tort case. Contact us through the link on this page with any questions you have about your dangerous drug, defective medical device, or faulty consumer product case.