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How to Join a Mass Tort Defective Drug Lawsuit in Progress



We take prescription and over-the-counter drugs to help—not hurt—us. But sometimes those very drugs that are supposed to heal us actually cause serious side effects and dangerous injuries. If you've been the victim of a defective drug, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the drug manufacturer. And if others have been similarly harmed, you may find that there are already countless other lawsuits pending against the drug company.

How Mass Tort Cases May Be Resolved

When dozens, hundreds or thousands of people file defective drug lawsuits against a pharmaceutical company, the cases may be consolidated in the interest of time, costs and consistency. This is usually done in one of two ways.

All of the lawsuits nationwide may be moved to a single court in what is known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). This allows one judge to hear all of the lawsuits pending against the drug company. It also allows the plaintiffs' attorneys—that's your mass tort lawyer as well as the mass tort attorneys representing other people who have been harmed—to coordinate their efforts, which may save money and increase the likelihood of success. For example, the lawsuits against the birth control drugs Yaz and Yasmin are now being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Alternately, the lawsuits may be consolidated into a class action lawsuit. This is a single lawsuit on behalf of many plaintiffs who have similar or identical claims.

Drug Class Action Lawsuits

If you've been harmed by a defective drug, you should hire a lawyer who has experience with mass tort and pharmaceutical litigation. Your lawyer will know if there's a pending class action or if lawsuits are being resolved through multidistrict litigation.

If cases have already been consolidated into a class action, you usually have a few options:

  • Opt out of the class action and file an individual lawsuit against the drug company
  • Do nothing and wait for a verdict or settlement in the case
  • If there's been a verdict or settlement, file a claim for compensation within a certain timeframe

Your defective drugs attorney can help you decide which option is best for you.  Learn more about frequently asked questions.

Filing a Lawsuit in Multidistrict Litigation

If you've been injured by a drug that's subject to MDL, ask your attorney if you're required to file a personal injury lawsuit in the assigned court. Because there are pros and cons to multidistrict litigation, your attorney can:

  • Review the specifics of your case
  • Review the rules associated with the MDL for the specific drug
  • Determine whether you have to file your lawsuit with the court hearing the MDL or if you're eligible to file in another jurisdiction
  • Advise you on the best court in which to file your case

Visit LawyerLocator for more information about defective drugs or to locate a mass tort attorney in your area.