The stories behind mass tort cases hit the news and the silver screen for a reason: they tell a classic tale of the underdog taking on the powerful, and often winning. No one likes to see big corporations getting away with it, and none less than the team of mass tort attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. While they often have a big reward, fighting mass tort lawsuits involve a hefty amount of risk and can be an issue to approach without the right experience, resources, or infrastructure.
While an MDL is a multidistrict litigation, it isn’t a place to simply file a case and wait for a resolution. In some cases, an oversimplistic view of the mass tort and MDL process will result in attorneys submitting cases without a proper workup. Paying a lead generator to produce cases adds an additional layer of unnecessary risk. Without being properly involved in the litigation, attorneys may sit on cases that are not supported by the evidence or the MDL, resulting in Rule 11 issues, client difficulties, a loss in investment, and danger of malpractice.
As mass tort cases come up against challenges on causation and liability arguments, as well as ability to avoid federal preemption, the quantity of viable cases narrows over time. Being involved in the litigation or on the steering committee are essential to knowing what cases will be successful and how to tackle changes as they occur.
Here’s how Morgan & Morgan builds mass tort cases designed to win.
How We Win
It takes big resources to fight big corporations. With a 3-5 year lifecycle on many cases and a high upfront financial investment with no guaranteed return, it’s essential to be sure that filed cases are properly supported. Here’s how.
Build The Case Before Building Each Case
Most mass tort filings don’t occur quickly at all: it takes months of investigation, analysis,
and evaluation to thoroughly interrogate whether a case has merit. With every claim requiring a unique approach, leaning on experts and developing an appropriate strategy are necessary early on. However, when the need arises to quickly file, such as in the event of a man-made environmental disaster, deep knowledge of causal and
potential liability issues enable a filing to be quickly written up.
Know Thy Enemy: Big Pharma Isn’t Like Big Oil
Every industry has different statutory requirements and modus operandi. That also means different techniques for hiding bad conduct and skirting legal responsibilities. Having institutional knowledge enables a legal team to ask the right questions throughout the discovery process and know where to look for harmful practices.
Know Thy Enemy: Tackling M&As
The surge in corporate consolidation over the last few decades has had (possibly) unintended impact on mass torts. With large mergers and acquisitions, many defendants may now have the financial stability to withstand judgment. However, complex corporate histories make it challenging to identify the correct liable parties. Ensure that this research is properly completed before diving deeper.
Scaling The Mountain of Discovery
Inundating firms with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of complex, jargon-heavy documents in discovery is a tactic the defense will undoubtedly use. Investing in the resources to wade through will make or break the case. Utilizing numerous skilled and experienced legal researchers and writers for motion practice relating to Daubert and summary judgment is essential as well.
Approaching Case Operations
It’s necessary to file cases as quickly as is advantageous for a client and to quickly discover if a case is stuck. Investing in the personnel and the tools to aid them ensures that there is an active communication stream and potential problems are identified. Automated messaging ensures that updates are shared as quickly as possible and make it simple for clients to contact case staff with any questions or concerns.
With an internal supervision system and redundancies in oversight, the chances of a case falling by the wayside are dramatically reduced. Through digitizing records and developing tools to easily generate data points to analyze cases, the case teams at Morgan & Morgan can more efficiently manage thousands of claims.
Approaching the Judiciary
Today, many members of the federal judiciary are hostile to plaintiffs and may allow corporations to evade liability. Finding the appropriate venue to file and try mass tort cases is a crucial part of early analysis and developing a strategy to increase the likelihood of a positive result.
Case Study: The Ozempic and Mounjaro Lawsuit
On Aug 2, 2023, Morgan & Morgan filed a lawsuit against the makers of popular diabetes and weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Mounjaro on behalf of client Jaclyn Bjorklund of Louisiana.
With Ms. Bjorklund and many others suffering from gastroparesis, also known as stomach paralysis, which has no known cure, the suit alleges that these drug manufacturers failed to adequately warn patients. Supporting Ms. Bjorklund and the hundreds of others who have come forward is made possible through the strategies and processes outlined above.
There is a good deal of evidence that drug manufacturers Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly were aware of the possibility of such side effects, but did nothing to protect patients from it or inform doctors or patients of the risks.
According to a 2023 survey, 15% of Americans have used Ozempic for weight loss, while 47% of Americans know someone who has. So far, over 7,000 individuals are being represented by Morgan & Morgan who allege that they have either gastroparesis or persistent vomiting for over a month after taking one of these medications.
Cases like these are why Morgan & Morgan has been fighting for the people for over three decades.
Who We Fight For
The retired couple living in a small town who just lost the value of their home, the single parent suffering from cancer, the widow who is saddled with an incurable ailment. These are the people that are taken advantage of when multibillion dollar corporations put profits over people and harm others with their negligence. Investing in the people, resources, and processes to fight for their justice is core to our mission and creates needed accountability through our justice system.