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How do mass torts and class action differ?

Across the country, the term "class action lawsuits" are gaining more and more traction. However, there's another, similar term that you may not know of: mass torts. While these two actions share a lot of similarities, they also differ in very notable ways.

The Class Action Guide points out the primary differences between class action and mass torts. In a mass tort, the outcome depends on how much harm or trouble you have suffered through. In a class action lawsuit, all compensation that's received is divided equally among the participants. However, if you participate in a mass tort, the compensation you receive will be a direct reflection of the damage you suffered. For example, if you experienced organ failure due to a medication, you will receive more compensation than if you suffered from migraines.

Mass torts also require the name of all participants to be given from the start. Opposite to that, participants in a class action lawsuit don't necessarily need to stick their names on the file in order to gain compensation. This is because a class action lawsuit involves one person, several people, or a group of people representing the interest of a much wider pool of sufferers.

In essence, a class action is a type of mass tort, but a mass tort isn't a class action. Despite the fact that they share important similarities, they are different enough that you may wish to look into both in order to see what would suit your particular situation best.

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