What Factors Might Determine The Compensation Amount?
The severity of the injury, the type of treatment that would be reasonably expected to occur in the future if there was a case where a shard or a strut from the filter embolized in the heart, because in that case the person would be looking at an open heart surgery and all the damages that would be associated with that like permanent injuries. The factors to determine the compensation amount would be twofold, the injuries and the conduct of the manufacturer that caused those injuries.
What Type Of Damages Can Someone Expect To Receive In A Claim Against These Companies?
This would really be a case specific inquiry and oftentimes this would be a jury question. Typically, the jury would be able to take the facts and evidence, the medical damages, the pain and suffering and those things into account to be able to make an award if they believed it was justified if the company was negligent. We think that the evidence we have uncovered suggests really bad and punitive conduct, so we would most likely assert punitive claims to tell the manufacturer not to do this anymore, although the jury is still out as far as the numbers are concerned.
Would The Client Have Any Say In The Amount Of Settlement Offered?
Absolutely. The client would have the only say. The attorneys would be the representatives of their clients and through that representation they would have the authority to do what they needed to do as lawyers and they would be able to use their discretion and typically act as power of attorney to execute certain documents. At the end of the day, the ethical rules are very clear that the client and only the client would have the authority to agree to settle their case.
How Much Time Would Someone Have To File An IVC Filter Lawsuit?
Every state would be different. Alabama has a two-year product liability statute of limitations, meaning the person had two years to assert their claim. The case law I have read recently indicates that it would not be two years from the date of the implant, but two years from the date that the injury occurred which is like a grey term. The manufacturer would probably want to argue that if there was an injury, it occurred very early on and the clock started ticking whereas in most cases I see, the patient was none the wiser that the problems they were having were associated with the filter until they did an imaging study. It would be hard to answer this question with much clarity other than to say time would always be of the essence. If the person suspected they had been harmed by this product or they had this product but could not figure out why they were having shortness of breath or lower back pain, then they should probably contact a lawyer and start the process of figuring out if this filter was in fact causing the problems.
Why Are Most Initial Claims Denied?
This is not really like a car accident case where the person would be contacted an insurance adjuster to see if they would pay on the claim or if they would deny the claim for contributory negligence or asserting that it was not the fault of their driver. There would really be no pre-litigation negotiation on these types of cases, so the person would basically file their case and work it up and they would get prepared for trial and maybe there would be some settlement discussions along the way. It would be more than likely there would not be any settlement discussions and some cases would try in both of the MDLs, although most of them would probably not. They would pick some cases, both sides, and work those up completely and probably try a few of them and see which issues could be narrowed down. If the cases they tried were representative of the majority of the cases out there, then it would somewhat set a value to the cases. The short answer is that the value of the case would typically be driven by a jury and there are typically no pre-suit negotiations.
Are Most Cases Likely Go To Trial Or Do They Settle Outside Of Court Most Of The Time?
In the context where an MDL has been established, the vast majority of cases would probably not go to trial, and they would probably pick cases to represent the whole of the litigation. We have not gotten to that stage yet in the Bard MDL, but the short answer is that the majority of cases will not go to trial.
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