How Are Mass Torts Determined For Drugs?

A “mass tort claim” is a procedure for pursuing instances in which medication or medical equipment causes injuries. For example, a mass tort claim allows one attorney or a group of attorneys to represent numerous clients injured by the same drug or medical device.

Individual vs. group representation: Individual representation allows you to pursue your case. In contrast, group representation will enable you to pursue your claim with other plaintiffs and attorneys handling similar claims.

Pooling resources with other attorneys and plaintiffs managing similar claims is more efficient and cost-effective because you retain control of your claim.

Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation

The process begins in the federal system with a motion before the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation, a group of federal judges who meet every few months to consider such requests.

Individual cases filed in the federal system will be transferred and consolidated if the judges have that power before one federal judge. Similar procedures are utilized in multi-district litigation in several states, including California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Our TruLaw firm understands that your state does not have established rules for statewide management of large-claims cases.

The following are some of the factors the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation, as well as state courts considering whether mass tort treatment is necessary, should consider:

  • Is it the case that a single product or situation has many claims?
  • Is there a lot of overlap among the issues and actors?
  • What is the significance of interdependence among the individual instances?
  • Is there any geographic stratification among the parties?
  • Is there a high degree of consistency in plaintiffs’ injuries and losses?
  • Is this legal system free of bias and accessible to plaintiffs, witnesses, and attorneys?
  • Can managed or comprehensive documentation be beneficial?

The judge holds a hearing to establish a timetable for some issues, such as pretrial procedures, discovery concerns, forms, and calendaring, generally after the court has designated a mass tort class.

A wide variety of documents, data, and testimony must be gathered during mass tort litigation. Discovery is obtaining relevant papers, data, and testimony from the defendant and others.

Once individual cases begin, attorneys for all plaintiffs use this shared body of knowledge to build the evidence and testimony required to triumph in court.


Hundreds of documents, data, and testimonies are gathered during a mass tort lawsuit. Obtaining pertinent papers, data, and testimony from the defendant and others is known as discovery.

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