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What Is a Mass Tort?

Q: What is a mass tort?

A: A tort is the legal term used to describe a civil wrong committed by one person that causes harm to another person. A mass tort is a single tort that results in the harm of many people, usually applying to a single harmful product that injures a large number of victims. Typically, these cases arise when multiple plaintiffs sue a common defendant and the court decides to file the case as a mass tort action. Mass tort actions are usually assigned to a judge quickly because of the number of victims. The judge may also ask that the information be published, usually via social media and news sources, so that other potential victims can be notified. A mass tort most commonly addresses consumer products and pharmaceuticals.