Mass Tort: Frequently Asked Questions

Minneapolis - St. Paul, Twin Cities, Minnesota & Nationwide

What you should know about your potential medical device or drug injury lawsuit:

If you become involved in a medical device or drug injury lawsuit, you may hear the term “mass tort.” Here are some explanations to frequently asked questions about these cases:

What is “mass tort”?

Many mass tort attorneys are also experienced personal injury attorneys. However, because it is a very complex and specialized area of law, only a small percentage of personal injury attorneys are experienced in mass tort.

A “tort” is a legal term that means “wrongdoing.” “Mass tort” lawsuits result when many people are wronged in the same way and by the same person, group, or company. Our firm has developed expertise in pharmaceutical drug and medical device injuries. For example, if a drug company does not warn about a dangerous or deadly side effect, or if a medical device manufacturer sells a product with a defective design, people who have suffered resulting injuries may have a case against the product manufacturer. A device or drug injury lawsuit generally does not involve action against the doctor who prescribed the drug or chose the product.

In a device or drug injury lawsuit, the manufacturer is typically headquartered in one state while plaintiffs may reside in a variety of states. This not only complicates things logistically but also presents differences in state laws. Many cases are dealt with in federal court. For this reason, it does not necessarily matter if your attorney is a mile away from your house or across the country. The criteria that you use to choose an attorney should focus more on their experience and level of involvement in the litigation than their proximity to you.

Do I have to pay you money up front?

No. Our firm operates solely on contingency fees. This means that we only get paid if we recover a settlement for you. Our fee is determined by a percentage of your award, so you will never end up owing us money. There is no fee unless we recover for you. Additionally, we agree to front all costs associated with your case; however, when we resolve your case, we also receive the costs out of your settlement. Therefore, pursuing justice will not involve any risk on your part. Because of this, we carefully screen the cases we take. We always strive to only accept medical device and drug injury lawsuit cases when we believe there is a strong likelihood of success.

What is a product liability claim?

Products liability is an area of the law focused on products that are not safe. Frequently, products are deemed “defective” when the manufacturer knew of a defect with a product and failed to properly design or warn consumers about these issues. Our job is not only to assist victims injured by defective products to receive compensation, but also to try to ensure that others are not hurt by the same defect in the future.

What is a multidistrict litigation (MDL)?

An MDL is often formed in federal court when a large number of people are injured by the same product in similar ways. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has the ability to consolidate all similar claims under one judge for pretrial purposes only. This means that each claimant still maintains an individual claim. Settlements are always determined based upon our clients’ individual and unique circumstances.

What is the difference between an MDL and a class action?

The goal of a class action is to compensate those who were wronged in the same exact way. This usually means that all claimants will receive the same settlement or a settlement determined by a uniform set of criteria. While class actions can be beneficial when settling consumer disputes, Multidistrict litigation claims (the type of cases we handle) are better suited to situations involving serious injuries.

Where is your firm located?

While we practice throughout the country, we are located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis at 800 LaSalle Avenue, Suite 2150, Minneapolis, MN 55402. You may call us toll-free at 877-544-1757. Our fax number is 612-367-8107.

If I pursue a medical device or drug injury lawsuit, will I need to travel to give depositions or appear at trial?

Not likely. We are able to handle all aspects of your mass tort claim over the phone and through the internet. We also have the ability to Skype with clients. It is very unlikely that any travel would be required of you.

How will I know what is happening with my case?

Good communication is important to us. We are diligent about keeping in touch with our clients regarding their claims. We maintain a policy of sending update letters and speaking with our clients when there have been developments in a client’s claim. However, should you have questions in the meantime, please feel free to give us a call. We are always willing to speak with you at any time.

Do you still have questions? Please contact us toll-free at 877-544-1757 for additional information.