Mass Tort Case
Updates 2024

Mass tort cases are lawsuits that involve multiple plaintiffs from various districts. Each of these plaintiffs file lawsuits against the same entity for similar injuries. Mass tort litigation differs from a class action, which typically has a lead plaintiff filing one lawsuit on behalf of other injured people. As a result, any compensation a judge awards will be divided evenly among all class members
in a class-action lawsuit. Contrarily, mass tort cases involve numerous individual personal injury lawsuits, allowing each plaintiff to seek compensation relative to their specific injuries.

Mass tort litigation is complex and can take several years to resolve. This article provides information and updates on significant mass tort cases that are currently pending or recently completed throughout the United States.

What Are Mass Tort Cases?

Mass tort cases arise when corporations fail to take proper precautions to safeguard people, resulting in similar illness or bodily harm in large victim pools. Mass tort cases comprise multiple victims suing a singular or the same group of entities for negligence. The following issues typically lead to injuries observed in mass tort cases:

Exposure to toxic



Faulty medical

Plaintiffs in mass tort cases can be victim clusters (e.g., employees of the same company, residents of the same area, patients undergoing similar medical treatments) or consumers of a similar product.

Defendants in mass tort cases are generally large corporations, such as pharmaceutical companies and consumer product manufacturers. Since mass tort cases can involve thousands of plaintiffs, collecting evidence to accurately represent the total interests of each plaintiff can be challenging.

Often, multiple attorneys and law firms handle cases for varying plaintiffs within the mass tort litigation. With the various plaintiffs, attorneys, and law firms, case management can get complicated. Cases can take several years to settle or go to trial. Therefore, case management is critical in ongoing mass tort litigation to ensure plaintiffs receive the highest quality of service and consistency.

Ongoing and Recently Settled
Mass Tort Litigation in the United States

Major ongoing or recently settled mass tort litigation in the U.S. includes:


Elmiron is a bladder pain medication used to treat Interstitial Cystitis (IC), a chronic bladder condition. Recent research linked the drug to degenerative eye disease, leading injured victims to file a series of lawsuits against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. 

The lawsuits allege that Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to warn users of the dangerous side effects of Elmiron, thereby knowingly putting consumers at risk of injury.

In 2019, Kaiser Permanente, Emory Eye Center, and Harvard conducted research and clinical studies that showed Elmiron usage could cause maculopathy, resulting in a loss
of central vision.

Examples of Elmiron Lawsuits

Three lawsuits filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals include:

Elmiron Litigation Status

The Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPMDL) created an MDL on December 15, 2020, in the District of New Jersey for Elmiron lawsuits. The manufacturers and distributors are the main defendants, consisting of the following subsidiaries and parent companies:

3M Earplugs

Examples of 3M Earplugs Lawsuits

The three lawsuits chosen to be a part of the first series of bellwether trials included:

3M Earplugs Litigation Status

Bellwether Trials Concluded

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy


The brand name for the drug ranitidine is Zantac, a heartburn medication available via prescription and non-prescription forms and used widely. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of the drug in April 2020 after discovering it contained carcinogens or cancer-causing substances.

Estimates show that more than 15 million Americans were taking Zantac at the time of the recall, and millions more were taking the medication in its generic versions. Valisure, a Connecticut-based online pharmacy, first discovered the dangerous side effects of Zantac in September 2019 and informed the FDA of alarmingly high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) present in samples of the drug.

Scientists found three million nanograms of NDMA in Zantac, drastically exceeding the daily limit of 96 nanograms. As a result, the FDA asked Zantac manufacturers to send samples for testing, and significant pharmacies such as CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart suspended sales of Zantac and its generic forms.

Examples of Zantac Lawsuits

Zantac Litigation Status


Examples of Roundup Lawsuits

Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto

Roundup Litigation Status


Examples of
Paraquat Lawsuits

Injured persons filed multiple product liability lawsuits against Syngenta Group and Chevron, alleging design defects and failure to warn consumers of paraquat’s adverse health effects.

Chevron’s defense team claimed that it had not sold paraquat in 35 years and vehemently denied its role in patients’ injuries, primarily the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Litigation Status

On June 7, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated numerous lawsuits into an MDL in the Southern District of Illinois. As of June 22, 2021, the MDL saw an increase of 116 lawsuits, bumping the number of pending lawsuits to 173. In addition, 10 related cases are pending in other federal courts, and 31 lawsuits are pending in state courts.

The presiding judge tentatively scheduled the first trial to commence in November 2022.

The defense had also moved to dismiss all claims in some states based on those states’ respective statutes of repose, but the court agreed with the plaintiffs’ assertion that these limitations could be extended in the face of evidence of overly fraudulent acts by the defendants to conceal information about the product’s dangers, as exists in the case of Paraquat.

Hernia Mesh

Hernia meshes are medical devices used to protect damaged tissue after hernia surgery. The mesh attaches with stitches, staples, or glue and the pores in the mesh allow the tissue to grow into the device and accelerate recovery. Hernia mesh is used in 90% of hernia surgeries annually in the United States.

The USDA discovered hernia mesh complications, including pain, infection, bowel obstruction, organ perforation, and hernia recurrence. Some of these complications require patients to undergo additional surgeries to remove the hernia mesh. In addition, some damages are permanent, resulting in long-term health issues or chronic pain.

Examples of Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Hernia Mesh Litigation Status

Transvaginal Mesh

Bleeding or hemorrhaging (causing anemia or necessitating transfusions)
Infections (can be serious or life-threatening, such as sepsis)
Scarring (when it moves outside the vaginal area)
Mesh contraction (leading to tightening in the vaginal region and severe pain)
Mesh erosion (eroding into the body and affecting different organs, including the bladder, bowels, and rectum)
Bowel perforation (requiring surgery for repair)
Bladder perforation (can be deadly, requiring emergency medical treatment)
Severe, chronic pain and discomfort interfering with everyday activities, including sexual intercourse)
Pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence (the same conditions it’s used to treat)

Examples of Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Over 104,000 transvaginal mesh victims filed lawsuits against device manufacturers, including Ethicon, alleging inherent design flaws and product malfunctions causing severe side effects. Companies settled the majority of these lawsuits with an approximate $8 billion.

Transvaginal Mesh Litigation Status

Boy Scouts

Thousands of individuals have come forward in recent years against the Boy Scouts of America. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that the Boy Scouts knew that child sexual abuse had been an epidemic within the organization for decades yet failed to do anything about it.

The plaintiffs provided records showing that the organization has kept files of known or accused perpetrators since the 1920s, ensuring these files remained a secret within the organization. These files date back to the 1940s, listing approximately 7,819 perpetrators and 12,254 victims. Most of the perpetrators were Boy Scout leaders who sexually abused victims during camping trips.

Examples of Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Thousands of plaintiffs across multiple states have filed lawsuits against the BSA. The lawsuits allege that the BSA failed to weed out pedophiles, protecting perpetrators rather than its members.

Boy Scouts Litigation Status


The opioid epidemic has been widespread throughout the United States since the late 1990s. The medical community believed the pharmaceutical companies when they assured them that patients wouldn’t become addicted to opioid pain relievers. Accordingly, doctors began prescribing opioids at high rates, leading to nationwide addiction, misuse, overdose, and death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that opioids have caused quadruple the amount of deaths from 1999 to 2019. They further report that opioids caused more than 70% of 70,630 deaths in 2019.

Examples of Opioid Lawsuits

Opioid lawsuits are widespread, including:

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants downplayed the dangerous risks of opioid use and engaged in misleading and aggressive marketing campaigns to sell drugs to doctors and patients.

They further alleged that the defendants failed to detect, investigate, monitor, and report suspicious subscriptions
of opioids.

There are 50 defendants named in the lawsuits, including these major distributors and their subsidiaries allegedly responsible for 80% of the distribution of opioids:

The first jury verdict in the opioid litigation came in November 2021 in the Northern District of Ohio, according to the New York Times.

Opioid Litigation Status

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit declined a request for a proposed negotiation class to streamline settlement negotiations among over 34,000 municipal entities and opioid manufacturers. A U.S. District Judge previously approved the negotiation class in 2019. However, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied it on the grounds that it violated federal civil procedural rules.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled to consolidate McKinsey & Co. lawsuits into a separate MDL and transferred the case to the Northern District of California.


Examples of JUUL Lawsuits

Significant JUUL lawsuits include:

JUUL Litigation Status

Paragard IUD

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) have been a form of long-term contraception on the market for more than 30 years. They’re hormone-free T-shaped copper devices inserted into the uterus to provide immediate pregnancy protection.

  • Backaches
  • Painful or irregular periods
  • Anemia
  • Cramping
  • Vaginitis dyspareunia (painful intercourse)

Experts considered Paragard IUDs one of the safest forms of contraception as they are surgery-free, hormone-free, and inserted in-office.

Examples of Paragard IUD Lawsuits

Lawsuits filed by individuals injured by Paragard IUDs include:

Ideus V. Teva Pharmaceuticals

Bowers v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. et al.

Tredway v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.

Primary allegations in the lawsuit include:

Manufacturing and Design Defects: Focusing on the risk of Paragard IUD breaking inside the uterus during ordinary use and removal

Failure to Warn: Asserting that Teva Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers, and distributors of Paragard IUD failed in their duty to adequately warn consumers of the risk of breakage (plaintiffs claim that although their doctors may have understood the risks, patients were unaware, thereby violating their right of informed consent)

Paragard IUD Litigation Status

Hip Replacements

The court ruled in Smith & Nephew’s favor on all except the misrepresentation and warranty claims, citing the need to decide each case individually.

In December of 2021, Smith & Nephew filed a motion to dismiss claims related to 2009 implants in the larger MDL on the basis that plaintiffs failed to show that the company had information about defects that would affect their use before then. A ruling is still pending.

Examples of Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Lawsuits filed by injured hip replacement recipients include:


Talcum Powder

Examples of Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Consumers injured by talcum powder products filed the following lawsuits:

Talcum Powder Litigation Status

As of July 18, 2021, Johnson & Johnson is exploring creating a new business that would then seek bankruptcy protection after Johnson & Johnson offloads its liabilities from its baby powder litigation. If they pursue a bankruptcy plan, plaintiffs would likely receive lower payouts if they’re unable to settle before the pharmaceutical company’s declaration.

In October of 2021, in a move known as the “Texas two-step,” Johnson & Johnson transferred its liabilities to a new subsidiary in Texas, LTL, then filed for bankruptcy in North Carolina, while keeping its own assets separate, according to a report by NPR.

Johnson &Johnson has offered to create a fund worth billions through the bankruptcy court for the benefit of cancer victims, which would allow victims to file claims without going through the court system. This can help victims receive compensation faster, but the settlements could be lower. The company still has 38,000 unresolved cases.

According to a Forbes report, Johnson & Johnson has set aside $3.9 billion in anticipation of the establishment of the trust fund.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Examples of Proton Pump Inhibitors Lawsuits

People injured after taking proton pump inhibitors filed the following lawsuits:

Proton Pump Inhibitors Litigation Status


Examples of Valsartan Lawsuits

The 10 initial lawsuits sought six years’ worth of reimbursement for plaintiffs that had purchased contaminated batches of valsartan. However, the court acknowledged 17 additional personal injury lawsuits for plaintiffs that had developed cancer or liver damage from using valsartan.

Valsartan Litigation Status

Developing Litigation In 2022

The multidistrict litigation cases discussed above have been ongoing for over five years. This timeframe is typical in complex mass tort cases that involve thousands of plaintiffs and multiple defendants.

Mass tort cases will never cease to exist. Pharmaceutical companies are notorious for distributing and marketing drugs that cause injuries, prioritizing profit over public health.

Besides pharmaceutical companies, many businesses disregard their duty to safeguard the public’s well-being to pursue increased revenues, creating the need for lawsuits to hold these companies liable.

Below is information on several notable ongoing mass tort cases to watch in 2022 and beyond. These cases are constantly developing, and the information will be updated as they proceed:

Baby Formula & NEC


PFAS Chemicals

A complete list of defendants named in the lawsuits follows:

Clearview AI

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Phillips CPAP

Southern Baptist Church Sexual Abuse

Now that this information has been made public, survivors can finally hold the Southern Baptist Convention accountable for its role in aiding and abetting the abuse while further traumatizing survivors.

Law Firms Involved in Mass Tort Litigation Need Case Management Solutions

Mass tort cases are time-consuming and require ample financial resources. In addition to actual litigation work, attorneys lose time on administrative tasks that involve large volumes of data that must be gathered, reviewed, and managed.

For these reasons, outsourcing case management is crucial. Legal outsourcing companies can provide highly competent staff specialized in multiple areas of litigation at reduced costs.

Case Works is a leading case management company that can provide the following beneficial services to your firm:
New client intake and welcome calls
Medical record retrieval and management
Medical record review and summary
Client diagnostic services coordination
Client management and communication
Case operations management
Plaintiff fact sheets
Case Filing
Client re-engagement programs
For all your case management needs, contact us today.