Mass Torts


Welcome to LawShelf’s video-course on mass torts. This course focuses on the procedures of civil actions that are based on single narratives that cause damage to many people. These may include defective products, prescription drugs with undisclosed side effects, plane or mass transit accidents and the like. The course focuses mainly on the two major vehicles for bringing forward mass tort clauses: class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigation.

This is an intermediate level course and it is recommended that you come into the course with some exposure to tort law, civil litigation or both.

The first module explains and defines mass torts and discusses the landscape against which these actions are brought. We’ll look at different types of mass torts and focus especially on product liability cases. We’ll also look at the “common issues of fact and law” common denominator of all mass tort actions.

Module 2 looks at the class action lawsuit. We’ll go through Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and its requirements. We’ll discuss the four basic requirements of the class action (numerocity, commonality, typicality and adequacy of representation) and the additional factors that courts must find to certify a class. We’ll also look at the procedural steps involved in getting a class certified and identifying and notifying the class members.

In Module 3, we’ll turn to multidistrict litigation, a less formal method of consolidating litigation than filing a class action, but one which is easier to complete successfully. We’ll look at the process of initiating multidistrict litigation, how and under what rules it is run and discuss the litigation’s procedural framework.

Module 4 will combine the two types of mass tort litigation and discuss the interplay between them. We’ll look at when each type is appropriate and when multiple class actions can be aggregated into multidistrict litigation.

Finally, in Module 5, we’ll discuss the settlement procedure in each type of case and what trials look like when they become necessary.

After completing this course, you will understand the landscape of mass tort litigation and know the various options available to plaintiffs and defendants in mass tort cases and their advantages and risks.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.

What is a video-course?

A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

Is there limit to how many video-courses I can take or complete?

No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

Introduction to Mass Torts Overview - Module 1 of 5

Aggregation Through Class Action - Module 2 of 5

Multidistrict Litigation - Module 3 of 5

Interplay Between Class Actions with Multidistrict Litigation - Module 4 of 5

Settlement and Trials of Mass Torts - Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.