Mass Tort Glossary

Glossary of Terms

Mass Tort: A Mass Tort is a single wrongful “tort” that results in an injury to many victims, and therefore involves numerous plaintiffs suing one defendant (or several defendants) who acted negligently. In most Mass Tort cases, the various individual plaintiffs must be suing based on harms caused by a single common product. Unlike a typical “class action”, each plaintiff brings a distinct and separate claim from any other plaintiff. 

Tort: An action that wrongly causes harm to someone either intentionally or negligently. Generally, the act is not a crime and is dealt with in a civil court. 

Plaintiff: In Mass Tort actions it is the injured victim, or the person bringing the claim or lawsuit.

Defendant: In Mass Tort actions it is the person or company that caused the harm to the Plaintiff. In a typical Mass Tort case, the defendant is a product or drug manufacturer. 

Statute of Limitations: A statute of limitations is the time limit in which a person has to file a claim (or lawsuit). The individual who wishes to bring forth a claim or lawsuit loses the right to do so if the statute of limitations has expired. The statute of limitations for your case depends on many factors, and you should consult an attorney to ensure that your time to file a claim has not passed.

Litigation: The process of taking legal action. Typically, the first step of litigation is the filing of a lawsuit. If the parties involved are unable to reach a settlement before a trial, the litigation will end with arguments in a courtroom.

Discovery: When parties to a lawsuit request important documents and records from the opposing party.