Any case involving mass torts claims can prove complicated to litigate. When dealing with multi-plaintiff “mass torts” claims, many professionals will be called upon to share their expertise, including extensive psychiatry assessment providers. The majority of multi-plaintiff “mass torts” claims revolve around some type of disaster, such as a train or airplane crash, a harmful material like asbestos, or a workplace shooting event. When there are multiple deaths and injury, the correct level of suffering and distress of multiple victims and their surviving family members will need to be properly determined. In catastrophic situations where there are fatalities, injuries, and innocent bystanders affected, there will be variant degrees of suffering and distress. The desired goal of any case based emotional assessment and forensic psychology evaluation is to discover the facts as they relate to liability, diagnosis, prognosis and also treatment.
Evidence-based data is essential in calculating the fairest settlement for all survivors as well as the family members of any victims, whether injured or not. Emotional distress levels can be subjective, and require an experienced professional to measure current and ongoing stress levels caused by a catastrophic event or the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one. Multi-plaintiff litigation can be a laborious and confusing process, and having a skilled psychiatry assessor working within the legal process can help to move the case forward in a timely manner. Forensic psychiatrists are well trained in the circumstances inherent in multi-plaintiff “mass torts” claims and a necessary member of the trial team.
A screening of all potential plaintiffs can help to determine who has suffered the most and shows the greatest level of continued emotional distress. Next, those such plaintiffs will receive a more in-depth evaluation in order to better understand their level of suffering. This information will also aid in providing a scale of distress levels, including present, ongoing and future damage. Engaging the services of one psychiatric team to work with all plaintiffs gives confidence to both sides of the trial that the information will be consistent across the class.
An experienced psychiatry team can work together to determine a recommendation that is fact based and unique to each individual, and by utilizing the same methods and parameters to draw these conclusions, the defense and plaintiff can have a high level of confidence in the accuracy of the conclusions. It is in the best interest of both sides to possess data that is reliable, transparent, and accurate; and using one team can achieve this result. Potential plaintiffs pursuing a fair settlement in any mass torts case will require the services of such professionals for a successful outcome of their case.