Automobile defects are a major source of mass torts in our country. There have been several recent high profile lawsuits and product recalls involving some of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, including Ford and Toyota.
Mass torts, like class action lawsuits, involve a lawsuit filed on behalf of similarly situated plaintiffs. Unlike class action lawsuits, however, mass tort plaintiffs do not relinquish their rights to pursue an individual lawsuit. Rather, in a mass tort lawsuit, multiple similar cases are combined into a single trial but each case treated individually. A key advantage to mass tort litigation is that the plaintiffs can save time and money by pooling legal resources.
Because automobiles are mass produced, product defects in a particular model or type of vehicle frequently involves mass tort issues. Moreover, because automobiles are complex and powerful machines, auto defects can have significant consequences, such as:
- Automobile rollovers/stability defects
- Inability to stop
- Unintended acceleration
- Tire blowouts, which can result in a loss of control and failure to stop
- Roof collapse when a defect causes the roof to collapse during a rollover
- Seat back collapse, which frequently occur in a rear-end collision when the seat back may collapse to the rear and the front seat passenger may be ejected into the backseat
- Glass breakage, caused by failure to include shatter-resistant window glazing
- Airbag failure
- Seatbelt failure when latch failure or the seatbelt fails to adequate restrain the passenger
- Door latch failure when a defect causes the doors to open during a rollover or other accident
- Gasoline fire
Automobile mass tort litigation can be particularly challenging because of the number of plaintiffs involved, the potential for future plaintiffs to emerge, and the complex legal issues involved in automobile product liability lawsuits. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a dangerous defective automobile, contact us at Ankin Law Offices, LLC to discuss a possible automobile mass tort lawsuit.
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