What Is A Mass Tort?

A mass tort occurs when a number of cases are consolidated in a single court and evidence is shared between the cases. If you’ve been injured in a case that is – or may become – a mass tort, it’s important to deal with a law firm experienced at handling these complex cases

What Is a Class Action?

A class action occurs when the Court allows a class representative to represent all persons in that class who have also been injured in the same manner. It allows one person to sue on behalf of all persons who have experienced the same or similar misconduct at the hands of the same defendant.

NO FEES WITHOUT RECOVERY

Mass tort and class action cases are usually litigated on a contingent fee basis, so plaintiffs and the class do not pay attorneys’ fees
or court costs unless there is a recovery.

Contact Lamothe Law Firm to Learn More.

Leading attorney Frank Lamothe is listed in every edition for past 30 years for Personal Injury.

Lamothe Law Firm selected as one of the Best Law Firms – Personal Injury.

Frank Lamothe has received a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent ranking for the past 35 years, which is the best possible rating, given by other attorneys.

Frank Lamothe is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, available to top trial attorneys in the country by invitation-only.

Rated by New Orleans Magazine as one of the Top Lawyers in the city.

Awarded to the top 5% of personal injury lawyers in Louisiana, Frank Lamothe has received this honor every year since 2007.

National Association of Distinguished Counsel Top One Percent in the Country

Top Trial Lawyers in America – For attorneys who have recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Fewer than 1% of lawyers are members.

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, Frank Lamothe, member by invitation-only.

New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law winner based on professional & community involvement and achievements – 2014 and 2015, Frank Lamothe.

Examples of Mass Torts and Class Actions We Have Handled

Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill: This litigation is being handled on a mass tort basis and a class action basis because there were people and businesses throughout the South who had suffered a variety of problems because of the oil spill. The cases were consolidated into a single proceeding in a Federal District Court in Louisiana and then pre-trial proceedings were undertaken. Those proceedings involved the exchange of information, the exchange of documents, completing depositions and dealing with expert witnesses. In the BP Oil Spill, a settlement was eventually reached involving most individuals and businesses. Lamothe Law Firm represented a number of businesses and individuals in this case as well as serving as common benefit counsel in the class action portion of the case.

Gaylord Chemical: This case concerned a class action claim in which the Defendant negligently released a cloud of nitrogen tetroxide. A railroad tank car began leaking the chemical at the Gaylord Chemical plant in Bogalusa, Louisiana and the leak lasted for twenty-four hours. Area individuals developed eye, ear, nose and throat irritation, pulmonary distress, skin rashes and other injuries due to chemical exposure. After many years of litigation, the case settled for a multi-million dollar figure.

3 Katrina Cases: Certified class action case involved the flooding of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, due to the Parish’s secret plan to evacuate drainage pump workers. Unlike New Orleans in Orleans Parish, there were no levee breaches and the flooding was due almost entirely to un-pumped rainwater. Approximately 40,000 residences and business properties were flooded.

Co-lead counsel in a class action flooding case arising from the inland failure of flood walls along the infamous 17th Street Canal and the less well-known London Avenue Canal.

Member of the 17th Street Canal Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of In Re: Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation MDL. We argued to the U.S. Fifth Circuit in favor of applying the Extension of Admiralty Jurisdiction Act to litigation against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others arising from the failure of flood walls along the 17th Street Canal.

More About Mass Torts

A mass tort occurs when a number of cases are consolidated in a single court and evidence is shared between the cases. If you’ve been injured in a case that is – or may become – a mass tort, it’s important to deal with a law firm experienced at handling these complex cases

Mass tort litigation involves cases where people throughout the country have been injured or have suffered losses because of a defective product or because of the illegal conduct of a company or person that harms many people.

Mass torts may involve litigation related to product liability (such as pharmaceutical and medical device litigation), man-made disasters (such as airplane crashes or explosions) or toxic exposure (such as asbestos exposure and groundwater contamination).

There has also been mass tort litigation involving commercial fraud where a particular company, such as an investment firm, insurance company or other firm, has engaged in some type of fraudulent conduct involved in taking a customer’s money.

More About Class Actions

A class action occurs when the Court allows a class representative to represent all persons in that class who have also been injured in the same manner. It allows one person to sue on behalf of all persons who have experienced the same or similar misconduct at the hands of the same defendant.

Class actions promote two principal goals: They provide a mechanism for prosecuting the claims of many persons whose injuries added together is significant but which, individually, would not be large enough to justify the expense of bringing individual lawsuits.

It also prevents the overloading of the court system by allowing the similar claims of thousands or even millions of individuals to be resolved in a single case. Because there is strength in numbers, a class action lawsuit is a powerful tool that individuals can use to enforce the law against large corporate firms and government entities.

Whenever many individuals suffer damages from a common wrong, we are ready to act on their behalf and step in to obtain just compensation for the victims of wrongful behavior. We are always investigating cases where consumers have been the victims of fraudulent or deceptive conduct or where consumers have purchased defective or unsafe products. We are always interested to hear about such situations. If you believe that you have been the victim of consumer fraud or some other wrongful act, please contact us.

Mass Torts, Class Actions & MDL Proceedings

A mass tort handled in this fashion is not the same as a class action. In a class action, there will be one trial for everyone at one central court. With a mass tort proceeding, which is also referred to as a MDL (multi-district litigation proceeding), common pre-trial work that can be used in cases throughout the country is done on a consolidated basis in one court so that this work, and the cost associated with it, is not duplicated in each and every case. When this pre-trial work is done, the case is brought back to the local court where it was originally filed for the actual trial.

HANDLING MASS TORT & CLASS ACTION CASES

Mass tort and class action cases pose the most demanding challenges in modern litigation. Effective representation requires skilled and experienced attorneys who can go the distance with the defense firms which fight these cases. To do this we must:

• Stay on top of rapidly evolving legal standards, as well as current scientific and technical knowledge;

• Have the experience and background necessary to handle sophisticated legal and procedural issues in a wide variety of forums;

• Possess the resources and commitment to litigate difficult cases to a successful conclusion;

• Conduct in-depth factual analysis through internal investigation and document review to ensure consistent and supported representation;

• Develop and manage document libraries and coordinate discovery;

• Present sophisticated and novel legal arguments and aggressive factual representation in discovery and motion practice ;

• Develop complex medical or scientific expert testimony to prove the case;

• Evaluate all possible claims and defenses through the use of pretrial tools; and

• Be prepared to try any case that does not settle.

We welcome referrals from other law firms and attorneys as well as individuals.
For more information or to schedule a confidential discussion about a potential case,
please call us at 504-704-1414.

REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION

LAMOTHE LAW FIRM
400 Poydras Street, Suite 1760
New Orleans, LA  70130  
(504) 704-1414  
info@lamothefirm.com