In the United States, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulates pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices (e.g. hip or knee implants, permanent birth control, hernia or vaginal mesh etc.). However, sometimes even drugs and devices that are approved through the regulatory process are later discovered to be dangerous and defective. This is often discovered as patients and physicians report adverse event reports to the FDA and it becomes apparent that a device or drug has an excessive number of similar adverse events. In these cases, consumers begin to file lawsuits and litigation commences, allowing discovery by attorneys into documentation and information in the possession of the pharmaceutical and medical device companies. This often reveals that either the internal testing process and data was improper or indicated problems before they were revealed to the public through the FDA warning process or warning labels or information to be provided by the medical professional prescribing the drug or implanting the device.
Many law firms deal with defective drugs and devices, so choosing an attorney can be overwhelming. In order to understand the impact that your choice of attorney will have on you, it is helpful to understand the process these cases usually follow. Often the cases are consolidated in what are called mass torts, where cases from across the nation are filed or transferred into one federal court so that they may proceed together through the discovery process (where evidence is collected) and then hold bellwether, or test, trials. Depending upon the outcome of the bellwether trials, the attorneys for the defendants and lead plaintiffs may enter into a settlement. If so, the other cases in the consolidated litigation have the option to participate in the agreed settlement or try their case separately. The advantage to participating in a settlement reached in this manner is the possibility of avoiding the stress and time involved in individually litigating your case (such as being deposed, testifying at trial, and participating in more extensive discovery into your medical information). However, if the global settlement reached is not satisfactory to you, you retain the right to not participate and then instead litigate your own case separately.
When you search for an attorney for a defective drug or medical device case, therefore, it may seem that there will not be a large difference in the outcome you receive due to the process described above. However, certain firms can offer advantage insofar as both your experience during the process and whether you are satisfied with your final outcome. We encourage you to have an initial consultation with us and then compare your experience with other firms you contact. When interviewing an attorney, helpful items to consider and discuss include how available your attorney will be for you during the process, whether your attorney will thoroughly explain the process to you and what to expect, and whether the attorney will thoroughly review your case to ensure your outcome is both optimal and satisfactory to you. Retaining a firm where you can speak directly with your attorney has the advantage of making you comfortable with your representation and allowing you to ask all questions you need to truly understand the process and make informed decisions. One of the most common complaints amongst law firm clients is inability to communicate with the attorney and receive information.
We encourage you to make a consultation with the Castro Potts Law Firm and experience our level of customer service to the client, in which we exercise compassion and honest communication that allows you to make informed decisions and remain in control of your case during the entire process.