What Is The Process Of Filing A Lawsuit?

The medical records would probably be the most important facts in any case, because they would tell the tale. We would need to collect the medical records, figure out what was going on with the filter and then if we found that a filter had failed, we could contemplate filing a lawsuit. We could do a little bit more investigation and find out what the implanting doctor was told by the manufacturer or the representatives as far as what injuries could occur and the severity, frequency or permanency of those injuries to allow that doctor to have an informed consent discussion with the patient. This is the failure of one claim, that really at the point of discovering that the product has failed and injured somebody, it would be just like any other tort claim.

Is This An Expensive Process For People To Go Through?

Most people who do what I do, do it on a contingency fee contract, meaning we would finance the litigation so the clients would not owe anything until we were able to achieve compensation for them. It should not be an impediment to anyone if they thought they might not be able to afford to hire a lawyer to investigate their claim, particularly with these IVC filters, because that is just not true. We would only get paid ourselves if we were able to realize compensation for our clients, although these can be very expensive cases to litigate.

How Long Might These Cases Take To Be Resolved?

This would vary on a case by case analysis. Now that there is an MDL in place, the wheels will turn a little bit more slowly as far as getting everything up and running, but then I feel like everything catches up and it ends up being about the same. I usually guesstimate from the day the client retains me till the day we have a resolution, whether it was that the litigation did not go well and the client would not be compensated or the case went well and they would be, that it would take somewhere between 24 and 36 months.

Would Pursuing These Cases Take Up A Lot Of Time And Would It Be A Stressful Process?

This would depend on whether or not the case was selected to go to trial, because if not, then everyone would need to meet the requirements of the cases that would not be set for trial. There would typically be some written discovery like a plaintiff fact sheet or a plaintiff profile form. If the case was selected, then it would require a lot more client involvement such as depositions of the client, their family, maybe their friends, their physicians and then obviously, participation in the trial process because some of these cases can try for a month.

What Are The Biggest Challenges Your Clients Face In These Cases?

From the very beginning we would need to be able to show how the filter harmed the person, how we could prove it and how we could prove the manufacturer knew it was a risk that was not fully appreciated by the implanting surgeon and therefore, by the patient. There would always be a battle with the experts regarding what caused the harm, whether it was the filter or whether it something else, the severity of the harm, the permanency of the harm and the frequency of the harm. This would be forthcoming in both of the MDLs and, quite frankly, in any case involving one of these big device or drug manufacturers, so the challenges would be big. I do not think most people fully understand that just because a product hurt them, it would not mean the manufacturer of the product would be liable for those harms. They are not insurers of anyone’s safety but they do have obligations to disseminate truthful information about what the filters are supposed to be used for, the risks of the filters and to properly warn people about those risks.

What Should Someone Look For When Seeking An Attorney Specializing In These Cases?

The person should choose somebody who is a specialist and who handled products’ liability, pharmaceutical or device cases, somebody with experience, who would return their client’s phone calls. The person should choose an aggressive advocate for their cause. A lot of attorneys out there advertise for this type of work, whereas they do not actually handle these kinds of cases so people should be wary of that and pick someone who they think would be able to get the best result for their client at the end of the day.

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