TOR-302: Mass Torts
Welcome to LawShelf’s video-course on mass torts. This course focuses on the procedures of civil actions that are based on single narratives that cause damage to many people. These may include defective products, prescription drugs with undisclosed side effects, plane or mass transit accidents and the like. The course focuses mainly on the two major vehicles for bringing forward mass tort clauses: class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigation.
This is an intermediate level course and it is recommended that you come into the course with some exposure to tort law, civil litigation or both.
The first module explains and defines mass torts and discusses the landscape against which these actions are brought. We’ll look at different types of mass torts and focus especially on product liability cases. We’ll also look at the “common issues of fact and law” common denominator of all mass tort actions.
Module 2 looks at the class action lawsuit. We’ll go through Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and its requirements. We’ll discuss the four basic requirements of the class action (numerocity, commonality, typicality and adequacy of representation) and the additional factors that courts must find to certify a class. We’ll also look at the procedural steps involved in getting a class certified and identifying and notifying the class members.
In Module 3, we’ll turn to multidistrict litigation, a less formal method of consolidating litigation than filing a class action, but one which is easier to complete successfully. We’ll look at the process of initiating multidistrict litigation, how and under what rules it is run and discuss the litigation’s procedural framework.
Module 4 will combine the two types of mass tort litigation and discuss the interplay between them. We’ll look at when each type is appropriate and when multiple class actions can be aggregated into multidistrict litigation.
Finally, in Module 5, we’ll discuss the settlement procedure in each type of case and what trials look like when they become necessary.
After completing this course, you will understand the landscape of mass tort litigation and know the various options available to plaintiffs and defendants in mass tort cases and their advantages and risks.
Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.