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I keep reading about the “tort system.” Exactly what is a tort?

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Explanation of Tort, Mass Tort / Class Action Lawsuits

There are generally two types of legal cases. One type is a criminal case that is generally brought forth by some level of government law enforcement officials charging an individual with a crime. The other type of case is a civil tort, which is a claim brought forth by one or more parties against a potentially negligent actor regarding a particular violation of a reasonable duty of care toward the plaintiff by the respondent party. Respondent parties can be multiple parties as well, but typically cases are better handled by filing against one respondent at a time. Multiple plaintiff parties are common in civil tort claims when they have similar issues with the same respondent. These are called class action tort claims, and they are filed regularly in all state court systems. Civil tort claims can be complicated and well-defended, especially in class action situations, and it is always essential to have an aggressive class action lawyer representing the claim to have an improved chance of a favorable outcome. As an example of a mass tort lawsuit, Zantac users are now currently pursuing damages from the manufacturer for long-term use of a product that is now linked to cancer. [Learn more about the Zantac Class Action Lawsuit]

What is a Tort?

defective product injury lawyers for ZantacA tort, in common law jurisdiction, is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm, resulting in legal liability for the person who commits a tortious act. It can include the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, financial losses, injuries, invasion of privacy, and many other things.
Simply put, a tort is an act of civil wrongdoing where loss or harm is inflicted upon a claimant resulting in legal action against the person or persons considered responsible for the wrongdoing. The ‘wrongdoing’ in a tort action might include all manner of personal injury and loss of or damage to property but might also include the infliction of emotional distress and mental anguish, financial losses, and the invasion of an individuals’ privacy.
Acts of wrongdoing that do not result in injury can still be determined as criminal acts, but the standard for proof is much lower in tort liability claims. Government agencies bringing criminal charges must prove cases “beyond a reasonable doubt” while a civil tort action burden of proof is set at a “preponderance of the evidence regarding the totality of circumstances” associated with the particular claim.

Class Action Torts

All class action cases are civil torts to some degree. There are often court rulings that require stopping the production of targeted products when they dangers of vapinghave been proven defective and dangerous. The Takata airbag class action suit is a prime example of this type of case. Commonly available products like Roundup, Zantac, Valsartan, 3M Military Earplugs, and JUUL Vaping Products, are just a few examples of how actions that start life as individual cases of civil tort can rapidly become mass-tort class-action cases with major legal movements involving many individuals who are harmed by products released on the market without sufficient testing. 


Mass Tort Claim Technicalities

It is always vital to have an experienced civil tort or class action lawyer involved in pursuing damages where defective products have the potential to cause or have caused, injury to multiple claimants. Tort cases involving defective products are recognized in the legal industry for their complexity and significance, since there are so many potential cases waiting on the outcome of the initial ‘test’ case, with a view to filing class action cases against manufacturers who have been determined by the legal system to be culpable of producing products shown to cause unintended harm to users of the product.

For more information on mass tort and class action lawsuits, please contact the office of Kellum Law Firm, New Bern, NC to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. Your initial case review is free of charge and free from any obligation to retain our services. 

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Lawyers in New Bern NC - Kellum Law Firm


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