Journal of European Tort Law
Editor-in-Chief: Oliphant, Ken
Ed. by Karner, Ernst / Koch, Bernhard A. / Wendehorst, Christiane
Are We Really Helping Them? – The Needs of Tort Victims in Mass Litigation Environments
In the area of mass litigation, little is known about the needs of the individual victim and to what extent these needs are satisfied through the system of collective redress. Are we really helping tort victims through procedures of mass litigation? In response to this question we conducted two studies that focused on the needs of the individual victim in mass litigation contexts. The main results and valuable insights from these studies are presented and compared in this article. We conclude that although the damages have derived from vastly different origins, it is remarkable that some of the needs are rather comparable. Money is not the only need of victims. Sometimes it is not even the primary reason for victims to litigate. Both groups of victims express the need for recognition, taking responsibility, prevention, and information. Moreover, we have found that these victims experience feelings of solidarity, have altruistic needs in multiple forms, and could experience an overwhelming feeling of empowerment in joining a mass litigation process.