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The Mass Tort Action

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Ciara Hackett

on 7 March 2014

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Transcript of The Mass Tort Action

The Mass Tort Action
Introduction and Overview
Definition of a Mass Tort
How did it develop?
It's role today?
Global Application
Class Action v Multi District Litigation
Class Action
Judges decision binds
all those who share a
common interest
Multi district litigation
Common facts all transferred
to ONE district for pre-trial hearing
Evolution of the Mass Tort Action
Slow development
1980s = unwilling to allow recovery
1. Floodgates
2. Acting in the Claimants interest
End of 1980s...all changed
Initially very much pro claimant
“Once a sword for plaintiffs,
the modern class action, is, in some contexts, increasingly becoming a shield for defendants.”

The vulnerability/weaknesses of the MTA
1. Fear of floodgates from individual claims
2. Relationships between claimant and solicitor
3. The "future" claimant
Mass Tort Actions
1. Single event disasters
2. "Creeping" disasters
3. "Toxic" Damage
Agent Orange
Dalkon Shield
Jenkins v Raymark Industries
782 F.2d 468 (5th Cir. 1986)

Judge Robert Parker
Characteristics of a Mass Tort Action
Predictable evolutionary cycle
High Case Interdependency
Highly concentrated group of plaintiffs
Huge pressure on the courts
Case studies in Mass Torts
Silicone Gel
Mass Product Liability
Borel v Fibreboard Paper Prods. Corp
., 493 F. 2d 1076 (5th Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 419 US 869 (1974)

Robert Parker
Cimino v Raymark Indus. INc
, 751
F.Supp. 649 (ED Tex 1990)

Group 1:
Group 2:
Group 3:
The Georgine Class Action
Silicone Breast Implants
Judge Sam Pointer
Toxic Torts
PG & E v residents of Hinkley California
Recent developments?
BP Deep Water Horizon
March 2014 developments
The Role of the Media
Mass Torts in the UK
Rachel Mulheron
DTIs 2006 Report (Representative Actions in Consumer Protection)
Full transcript