What are Mass Arbitrations, Mass Torts, and Class Actions?
We often get this question from folks that are researching the various types of class action lawsuits. You may have seen mass arbitrations and mass torts come up on this very site. It is easy to get confused with the wide variety of
names and types of class actions or related litigation. This article will guide you
through the process and details of some differences between class actions, mass torts, and mass arbitrations, all of which you might commonly see posted here on OpenClassActions.com.
What is Mass Arbitration?
Mass arbitration is a relatively new development in the history of litigation. As consumer demand has risen dramatically worldwide, more and more customers worldwide for companies has also meant that any mistakes businesses make with their products or services lead to a much larger risk of mass claims in case anything goes wrong with their product.
Mass arbitration can involve thousands of similar claims coming
simultaneously from consumers.Compiled together and
initiated simultaneously, usually with the assistance and facilitation of lawyers, these claims aim to oblige the defending business to participate in arbitration outside of court to settle consumer complaints. The difference between class actions and mass arbitration is subtle. The mass arbitration route means that it is a bunch of individual claims being filed simultaneously. Class action lawsuits are filed as one, uniform lawsuit on behalf of a group, or class of consumers or plaintiffs.
Many service providers, merchants, and businesses in general include an arbitration clause in their policies. This is aimed at preventing clients from seeking court action with mass litigation such as with class action lawsuits and settlements. Generally, mass arbitrations and class actions may arise from issues such as violations of consumer rights, misleading terms of service, false advertising, and a plethora of other possible consumer cases.
What are Mass Torts?
Mass torts start with a number of separate similar cases and then grow into combined
lawsuits. It takes significant effort on the part of lawyers to sort all received
submissions and streamline them into one combined case. This can only be done if similar
claims are addressed to the same business, or defendant. Often, lawyers on the case of the plaintiffs, or consumers, will use marketing to reach out to more potential plaintiffs to support and build their case.
the number and location of claims, mass torts might be consolidated within one geographical area
or across several regions in some cases.
Usually targeting widespread negligence of a company, mass torts aim to right the wrongs of harm that may have been caused due to medical devices,pharmaceutical drugs, toxic environment, dangerous or
malfunctioning products, and even man-made and natural large-scale disasters. All claims
must be seeking compensation for the same harm will typically involve a large group of plaintiffs.
Another very common type of court process that deserves special attention is class action. More plaintiffs
can join an open class action case as long as they fit the requirements, becoming “class members” with
Representationfrom class action lawyers in court. As long as the consumer fits the profile and the conditions of the
case, the claim will be eligible for a payout once, and if the class action is settled between the business and consumers, and is approved by a judge or court. The consumers or plaintiffmay join
any open class action within the class period - the timeline where the issue occurred.