If you look for it – and not for very long, either – you can find article after article talking about how mass torts and class actions against corporations and large organizations are doing more harm than good. Each argument is based on the idea that clogging up the system with so-called frivolous lawsuits is a time and money sink, hardly paying out anything worth mentioning to the plaintiffs. It is also contended that when a noteworthy settlement or verdict is reached, it is excessively damaging to the defendant, the company that hurt someone in one way or another. Are these articles all true? Or is there something else going on, something arguably more nefarious?
According to Ralph Nader, a former-political forerunner and one of the top consumer rights advocates in the world, not only are mass torts not hurting anyone but they are also good for the country. In a recent article published by Harper’s Magazine, which you can view here, Mr. Nader contends that this idea that lawsuits could somehow be negative is a notion perpetuated by the large corporations that fear them. Rather than wanting to fix the problems the lawsuits hope to address, they would prefer to just sweep the whole thing under the proverbial rug and forget about it.
Nader cited several studies that looked into the actual number of lawsuits and mass torts Americans file each year after suffering a serious injury due to a company’s or professional’s negligence. He concluded that less than 2% of Americans who should be filing a lawsuit actually do. Additionally, payouts for medical malpractice and product liability cases combined each year are a little over $5 billion. If you’re thinking that must be punching a hole in corporation profits, Nader encourages you to reconsider, pointing out that Fortune 500 companies rake in about $12 trillion in profits annually.
More than just getting people and families the compensation they deserve, mass torts empower everyone with the ability to keep big companies in check. If you want to get a corporation to listen, you are going to need to target their pocketbook, it is as simple as that. Through lawsuits, both big and small, the average American has the potential to expose dangerous malpractice and neglect, prevent future catastrophes, and spark new legislative change to reshape and improve nationwide industries.
The next time you see a report about the “harm of mass torts” or other lawsuits, be sure to take it with a grain of salt and check who published it. And remember that no amount of lawsuits winnings are going to tear down America’s financial infrastructure.
For more information about your rights as an injured individual, or if you need help filing a lawsuit of your own, you can contact David C. Rash P.A. Our Miami trial attorney, Mr. Rash, focuses on mass torts and class actions as well as medical malpractice, so you know he can handle whatever legal troubles are concerning you. Call 954.914.7116 today.