What separates a class action lawsuit from mass torts and MDLs?

When it comes to making decisions about their prescription drugs and medication, people have become more informed and vigilant. And over the years, the laws against bag drugs have given more power to the users. Every year, thousands of lawsuits are filed against pharmaceuticals for their negligence and manufacturing defective drugs. To cater to these significant numbers, many of these cases are handled together. And hence there are class action, mass torts and MDL (Multidistrict Litigation) cases.

Although these lawsuits work on similar principles and have similar outcomes, the legal processes are vastly different. Here are some distinctive features to look at.


  1. How are the plaintiffs grouped?

For each of the 3 types of lawsuits, all plaintiffs have lawsuits against a common defendant and similar claims for medical injury.

In a mass tort, every plaintiff and their claims are treated separately, while it is grouped together only because it is against the single entity and has similar or related claims.

An MDL is usually established by the court and is created by combining various cases together in front of a single judge.

A Class Action lawsuit usually accounts for all people who are wronged by the company, irrespective if they have filed a lawsuit or not. It represents the rights and interests of the entire class of people affected by the defendant.


  1. How are the legal processes taken forward?

A mass tort usually proceeds as an MDL or a class action based on the interests and resources of the plaintiffs.

In a Multidistrict lawsuit, processes like discovery, witness testimonies and trials are performed in a consolidated manner. However, every involved plaintiff must present their facts and justify the personal injury caused by the drugs.

For a class action, the case is handled by a group of attorneys and plaintiffs that represent the entire class. Any and every decision and outcome impacts the entire class, irrespective of each individual situation.


  1. Settlements or compensations

In case of an MDL, the settlements and compensations are focused only on the individuals involved in the lawsuit. These compensations can vary with each plaintiff and each individual has the right to accept, negotiate or challenge the settlements.

In case of a class action, the compensations or settlements are done for the entire class and it does not account for each individual interest. Also, the entire class must accept or decline the offer. And also the settlements are shared among the entire class. Therefore, these decisions are taken well in advance and the class is formulated strategically.


Medical injury and bad drug lawsuits can be fairly complex and exhausting. Fighting against big corporations, justifying the damages and coping with the medical injuries themselves can be daunting. Therefore, having a legal expert and an experienced personal injury attorney is a great asset. Some of the major lawsuits in recent years are against Topamac, Lipitor, Actos and Truvada. If you are looking for a Truvada lawyer, get in touch with our team to get you the compensation you deserve.


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