The more common name for mass tort litigation is a class action lawsuit. This involves a group of people who have similar or the same injuries due to the same action or product from a defendant that the group is suing.
More specifically, “mass tort” action is a variety of class action lawsuit. According to FindLaw, the benefits of mass tort litigation are efficiency and equity.
The dockets of courtrooms across the country are consistently packed. Even though nearly 90% of civil disputes never actually get to a courtroom and many criminal issues involve plea bargains as a way to speed up the process, it takes a long time to get a spot to have a judge hear your case.
Mass tort litigation aggregates the grievances of potentially thousands of plaintiffs. Not only does this result in a far lower court load as compared to each injured plaintiff is suing individually, but it also drives down the overall cost of litigation. Mass tort litigation requires more work than an individual lawsuit, but much less work than thousands of individual ones.
One of the biggest advantages to mass tort litigation is that it provides a level of equity for everybody who experienced harm at the hands of the defendant. For instance, it is possible that the defendant may be bankrupt or cannot pay each individual the amount the law requires. With mass tort litigation, all injured plaintiffs will receive something.
Outside of mass tort litigation, it turns into a first-come-first-serve litigation bonanza. This disadvantages individuals who are not familiar with litigation or do not have the funds to individually sue for damages.