What is a mass tort?
There are many examples in the news every day of medical devices, prescription drugs and consumer products causing injuries, illness and even death. When many people are injured or killed by a dangerous product, civil lawsuits are often filed against the manufacturer; if a large number of similar lawsuits are filed, these claims will often be combined into a much larger lawsuit known as a mass tort.
Mass Torts and Probate
If your loved one died because of a defective drug or other product, the deceased’s estate can still file a claim against the product’s manufacturer. How does it work?
When a person dies, any debts owed will be paid from his estate during the probate process before property is distributed to his heirs. This means that any medical bills that piled up related to the defective product will be taken out of the estate assets.
However, any outstanding debts that are owed to the deceased can also be collected on behalf of his estate. So if your loved one dies before the mass tort is completed, any damages awarded would go to his estate to be used for paying off debts and/or distributing to heirs as a part of that estate.
Mass Torts and Bankruptcy
If an injury from a defective product left you with mounting medical bills and an inability to work, your financial situation can deteriorate quickly. A product liability claim against the manufacturer of the product that injured you may result in compensation for your damages eventually, but in the meantime you’re still dealing with harassing phone calls from creditors, threats of civil lawsuits, and the possibility of foreclosure or repossession.
The bankruptcy attorneys at Ostrom Morris understand how frustrating it can be to see your financial stability slipping away through no fault of your own. We offer bankruptcy assistance to those involved in mass torts to help them manage difficult financial situations while their civil cases are being resolved.