Unlike criminal cases, which are initiated by the state to address violations of criminal law, mass tort cases are civil lawsuits brought by people seeking compensation for the harm they have suffered. Common types of mass tort cases include negligence, assault, battery, defamation, and product liability.
Successful tort claims usually result in monetary compensation awarded to the injured party, paid by the defendant. Mass tort cases are brought to courts by large numbers of people, who are often whole communities affected by professional negligence or a faulty product. There are some big mass tort cases working their way through the courts this year.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
For over three decades the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast, Camp Lejeune, has been at the center of one of the biggest tort cases in recent U.S. history. Service members, their families, and civilians in the area were exposed to drinking water tainted with toxic chemicals, including volatile organic compounds linked to severe illnesses like cancer, leukemia, and Parkinson’s disease.
Investigations have revealed that the contamination resulted from industrial spills, leaking storage tanks, and an off-base dry-cleaning company. Dumping these chemicals at sites on the base has led to the contamination of the local water supply and extensive litigation. The Camp Lejeune water crisis has become a poster child for the importance of environmental safety and oversight.
Baby Formula Contamination
Baby formula made with cow’s milk, which is used by families across the world every day, has recently come under scrutiny due to a potential link between the cans of instant baby formula and a severe gastrointestinal condition known as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). This life-threatening bacterial infection predominantly affects babies and infants, and though the exact cause of NEC remains elusive, studies have consistently observed a correlation between the condition and cow’s milk formula for over 40 years. Recent research suggests that babies fed exclusively on formula are significantly more susceptible to NEC than those nourished with breast milk.
Asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral, was once hailed as the material of the future for its heat resistance and insulating properties. Its legacy is now tainted with the devastating health impacts it has left on countless people across the world. Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers has been conclusively linked to life-threatening diseases, including mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs.
Despite the known dangers, asbestos continued to be used in various industries, from construction to automotive manufacturing. Today, the battle against this silent killer continues as victims seek justice through litigation. Manufacturers face mounting lawsuits, and billions have been set aside in trust funds for compensation claims.
Hair Straightening Products
Countless individuals have turned to hair straightening products to try and control their waving and untameable locks, unaware of the potential risks many of these products present. Chemicals used in hair relaxers, designed to alter the hair’s protein structure, have been linked to adverse health effects. Recent studies indicate an association between these chemicals and conditions like uterine fibroids.
Many of these chemicals are known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) and they can mimic or interfere with the body’s natural hormones, leading to reproductive and other health issues. The beauty industry is now facing a wave of litigation as consumers grapple with the negative health effects of using these products.
These chemicals, and their use in hair and beauty products, mean that most of those who have suffered these effects are women, and many have suffered health issues related to their reproductive systems. The compensation levels for these mass-action claims could be massive, running into billions of dollars.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals that have been used in the manufacture of many everyday products, from non-stick pots and pans to water-repellent clothing. Touted for their durability and resistance to water and oil, PFAS have earned the name ‘forever chemicals’ due to their persistence in both the human body and the environment.
Research suggests that prolonged PFAS exposure can lead to a range of health issues, including cancer, liver damage, and developmental problems in children and infants. PFAS has contaminated community drinking water sources, and the mounting health concerns have led to legal battles against manufacturers and industries responsible for PFAS pollution.
If you have been affected by any of these issues, or you have concerns about a product you or a family member has been using or exposed to, get in touch. Our lawyers are here to help you get the compensation and recognition you deserve.
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