Mass tort lawsuits deal with claiming compensation for damages caused to numerous people due to a defective drug or poorly designed product. A mass tort is an act of negligence or omission that causes injury to numerous people. Mass tort actions are not confined to a single case; instead they are a grouping of several individual lawsuits against the same defendant. There are various steps involved in mass tort lawsuits and the nature of allegations varies from case to case. In such a grueling trial preparation process, mass tort medical record review support is important for attorneys to prepare all-encompassing arguments to win the case. Read further to know more.
Plaintiffs and Defendants in a Mass Tort Case
Plaintiffs are the individuals who pursue a mass tort case alleging that there had been an unlawful or harmful act made against them by another individual, group, or company. The group of individuals comprises people injured by a defective drug or product. Mass tort attorneys file the lawsuit by ascertaining that the plaintiffs’ claims are valid.
The defendants are a group of individuals or individual who have allegedly committed an unlawful act of negligence or harmful act that injured the plaintiff. The defendants share the liabilities for injuries and losses in different capacities.
Primary Stages in Mass Tort Lawsuit Claim Processing
The claims in mass tort lawsuits vary from case to case. However, there are certain distinct steps to take before the trial proceedings that are discussed below:
Reviewing medical records
To cross-examine the allegations, attorneys verify the validity of the claims through a thorough medical record analysis along with the plaintiff’s statements. Mass tort cases require analyzing the entire medical history of the plaintiff. This allows attorneys to counter the defendant’s argument that the plaintiff had a pre-existing condition that contributed to the injury.
After a comprehensive study of the medical records, attorneys understand the type and nature of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. On the basis of these facts, critical areas of concern are identified and noted for the trial preparation. Possible and valid arguments are developed around these findings. To strengthen the case, attorneys gather the medical records of all the individuals who are similarly injured.
This is the pre-trial phase in which attorneys gather information about the case. This involves recording the testimonials of the claimants, healthcare providers, and other relevant parties. Based on the information gathered, attorneys segregate legally valid data and structure the arguments. Attorneys and plaintiffs have to work in tandem to draw conclusions from the similarity of the injuries identified in each case.
To qualify a lawsuit as a mass tort, the preliminary step performed by attorneys is discovering the uniformity in the cases filed by the injured clients. For instance, if the cause of injury is a defective stent, the similarities in the injury have to be recognized. Analysis of the claimants’ medical records assist attorneys in proving that the product was defective and caused harm.
In mass tort cases, there will be identical symptoms and injuries exhibited by plaintiffs even though each claimant has his or her own lawsuit. Therefore, there should be uniformity in the structure of these cases. Mass tort attorneys have to ensure that this will be the foundation for the rest of the cases. If there is dissonance in the established uniform pattern, the claimant may not be eligible for compensation.
The categorization of mass tort cases is in various ways. The main structure of the litigation might be based on the severity of the injury. In some cases, it can be based on the timeline of the injuries. The damages caused are compensated based on the category of the claims.
Litigation at the federal level
The trial process is made easier and more convenient by consolidating the mass tort claims by filing them together at the federal court. Regardless of the geographical location, the lawsuits are filed together. This ensures that the entire process is well-organized. They are tried and considered at federal courts and not civil courts.
Sample jury trials or bellwether trials
Prior to the hearing of the case, the court picks a few cases for trial. These cases are called sample jury trials or bellwether trials. The plaintiffs may also include people who have passed away or whose symptoms are fatal. This trial run allows gauging how the trial of other cases will be. If the defense gets a ruling in favor, the remaining cases do not even go to trial.
4 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Mass Tort Medical Record Review
- The timeline and the settlement of mass tort cases can be complex in comparison with other medico-legal cases. A reputable medical record review company assists attorneys in analyzing different facets of individual cases.
- A comprehensive study of medical records is time-consuming. By outsourcing, attorneys can save time to focus on framing the merits of the case.
- Outsourcing considerably reduces the expenses related to the case. This can be channeled for more constructive efforts to win the case.
- Accurate identification of the uniformity in the injury suffered by plaintiffs.