MASS TORT & COMPLEX LITIGATION
Mass tort litigation can be viewed as a collection of individual claims that have been consolidated under one or more procedural devices, with the goal of promoting efficiency, consistency of judicial rulings and minimizing costs to the courts and the parties. Class action, federal court MDL proceedings, and state-wide consolidations of lawsuits are the procedural vehicles often used to gather and consolidate claims/cases. In addition, single actions involving numerous individual plaintiffs are another vehicle for “mass tort” litigation. Often, these cases will involve claims of product defect or exposure to an environmental contaminate or chemical release. However, the use of “mass tort” litigation is also growing in other arenas, such as claims pertaining to insurance coverage disputes and policy interpretations.
At McCormick & Priore, P.C., our attorneys have defended clients in a wide range of “mass tort” actions, including acting as National Counsel for a phentermine manufacturer in the Fen-Phen litigation; co-lead defense counsel for several manufacturing defendants in the latex glove litigation; defending claims by 300 plaintiffs asserting injuries from PCB exposure; defending against claims by residents living in the area of landfills and industrial plants; and defending class action claims for insurance coverage and payments. Although many of these actions involve claims of product defect, many claims arise from a much more restricted scenario, such as the installation of spray polyurethane foam insulation in residences or the development of mold due to water infiltration resulting from a construction defect. However, it is the joinder and/or consolidation of numerous individual claims, which can then create a complex “mass tort” scenario.
Organization, attention to detail and understanding the true nature of the individual claims and defenses, as well as the procedural mechanics of such devices as class actions and MDL consolidations is what allows McCormick & Priore, P.C. to successfully evaluate and defend its clients in “mass tort” litigation.