A mass tort is a civil case in which large numbers of plaintiffs file claims against one or more common defendants in state or federal court. Those cases are then consolidated into a single action where each plaintiff has an opportunity to present their own case. Mass torts are beneficial because they can streamline the litigation process, resulting in faster and better results for all plaintiffs.
DiCello Levitt’s nationally recognized and award-winning lawyers leverage their extensive experience to represent plaintiffs in mass torts involving faulty medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs, cosmetics, and other illegal practices by defendants in the automotive and biotechnology sectors, among others. We also lead cases seeking remediation and financial reparation from global companies responsible for environmental pollution, contamination, and endangering human health. Representing individuals, businesses and investors, municipalities, and state attorneys general, DiCello Levitt and its attorneys have recovered billions of dollars for clients across the United States and effected corporate and legislative changes that protect the safety of all consumers.
Our firm has received national acclaim for its successful leadership and resolution of mass injury cases and has consistently led the charge on some of the largest such cases in U.S. history, repeatedly getting appointed to leadership positions in those cases by federal judges across the country.
DiCello Levitt’s Current Mass Tort Cases
- Hair Relaxers and Cancer
- Camp Lejeune Poisoning Injuries
- Paraquat Herbicide and Parkinson’s Disease
- Tepezza and Hearing Loss
- Addictive Social Media Products
- Opioids Litigation
- Fires – Wildfire and Burn Injury Cases
Addictive Social Media Products
Our nation’s children suffer from staggering numbers of mental and behavioral health disorders. These numbers are fueled in part by a profound technological transformation deliberately designed by some of the world’s most profitable social media giants in ways that exploit for profit the vulnerabilities of children’s brain development. Today, over a third of 13- to 17-year-old children report using one of these companies’ apps “almost constantly” and admit this is “too much.” Yet more than half of these children report that they would struggle to cut back on their social media use.
In the past decade, Americans’ engagement with social media grew exponentially and realized the most dramatic growth among our country’s youth. The efforts of social media giants focus on inducing young people to compulsively use their products that include Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube. Social media companies embedded their digital products with an array of design features deliberately aimed at maximizing youth engagement to drive advertising revenue.
Social media giants deliberately designed their apps to exploit the psychology and neurophysiology of children. Social media giants wrote code designed to manipulate dopamine release in children’s developing brains and, in doing so, create compulsive use of their apps. These social media products vary by platform, but all exploit children and adolescents. They include an algorithmically generated “endless feed” to keep users scrolling in an induced “flow state;” “intermittent variable rewards” that manipulate dopamine delivery to intensify use; “trophies” to reward extreme usage; metrics and graphics to exploit social comparison; incessant notifications that encourage repetitive account checking by manufacturing insecurity; inadequate, essentially illusory age verification protocols; and deficient tools for parents that create the illusion of control.
Not surprisingly, the social media giants have generated extraordinary corporate profits and yielded immense tragedy. Suicide rates among young people are up 57%. Emergency room visits for anxiety disorders are up 117%. In the decade leading up to 2020, there was a 40% increase in high school students reporting persistent sadness and hopelessness and a 36% increase in those who attempted to take their own lives. In 2019, one in five high school girls had made a suicide plan. In 2021, one in three girls seriously considered attempting suicide. Children and their parents and guardians across the country have struggled to cope with the severe, lasting damage visited on their families by anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidality, and the loss of one’s child.
Social media companies knew the risks of such addiction and could have changed their products to avoid the harm. They could have warned the public about the danger. Instead, they placed economics over the ruined lives of so many children and their families.
DiCello Levitt’s team of skilled attorneys led by Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann, who was appointed to the plaintiffs’ executive committee by the federal court overseeing this litigation, represents thousands of child victims of addictive social media and seeks to hold the social media giants responsible for injuries they’ve caused to children by compelling them to pay billions of dollars in damages.
Opioid manufacturers and distributors have engaged in widespread, abusive marketing and sales practices that have fueled an opioid addiction epidemic that has devastated communities across the United States. In the race to develop and bring new drugs to market, these companies have overstated the efficacy and understated the potentially severe side effects of their drugs, placing profits over people and putting patients at risk of serious injury and even death.
Pharmaceutical drugs have vastly improved the quality of life for millions of people—and quite literally save lives. Unfortunately, large pharmaceutical companies also have a history of marketing and distributing medications with dangerous defects.
DiCello Levitt represents numerous cities and counties seeking to hold drug manufacturers, distributors, and marketers responsible for their role in fueling the public health crisis.
Fires – Wildfires and Burn Injury Cases
When fire strikes, the effects can be devastating to both property and human life. When wildfires, chemical fires, or other property fires are sparked by the negligent and reckless actions of irresponsible companies and public utilities, fire victims and their families deserve compensation for their suffering and losses.
DiCello Levitt represents hundreds of individuals and communities against those responsible for fires resulting in catastrophic property damage, personal injury, and death. Our team of expert attorneys has secured tens of millions of dollars on behalf of fire victims and their families in the effort to help them restore their lives. DiCello Levitt’s team will continue to represent victims of fires and seek full recovery for every injury and every dollar of economic loss suffered by their clients.