Are mass torts the same as multidistrict litigation?
“Mass tort” refers to a type of injury. MDL is a step in compensating a victim of a mass tort. The sheer volume of similar complaints against a defendant makes it more efficient to consolidate discovery and pretrial hearings in an MDL. This consolidation saves time and resources for all parties, while ensuring that all the mass tort cases share consistent rulings.
All the mass tort cases transfer to a federal court where a judge manages proceedings and encourages parties to resolve the case. Cases that do not settle return to their original courts and go to trial as independent lawsuits.