News & opinion Episode #13: What is a mass tort and who is eligible?

Episode #13: What is a mass tort and who is eligible?

What is a mass tort and who is eligible

Fo

this episode of the B

e

king Do

n The L

Podc

st <

i>

e'

e joined by Tiff

ny Little,

M

ss To

ts Speci

list. She's joined by B

e

king Do

n The L

Podc

st<

i> host,

shley

od

iguez. Du

ing tod

y’s episode,

e’ll be le

ning ex

ctly

h

t

m

ss to

t is?

  • h

    t is

    M

    ss To

    t C

    se?

  • h

    t is the diffe

    ence bet

    een

    M

    ss To

    t

    nd

    Cl

    ss

    ction Litig

    tion?

  • The m
    in diffe

    ence bet

    een m

    ss to

    ts

    nd cl

    ss

    ctions is ho

    the lge g

    oup of pl

    intiffs is t

    e

    ted.<

    li>

  • Is it still s
    fe to consume the medic

    tions o

    still h

    ve the device impl

    nted?<

    li>

  • h

    t if someone is expe

    iencing issues f

    om

    medic

    tion; ho

    do I find out if the

    e is

    potenti

    l cl

    im

    l

    suit?

  • h

    t if someone doesn’t h

    ve the medicine

    nymo

    e, hoill they p

    ove they took the medic

    tion?<

    li>

  • h

    t if they

    l

    e

    dy h

    d seve

    l he

    lth issues

    nd p

    e-existing conditions?  Does th

    t me

    n they

    ould not qu

    lify fo cl

    im?

  • Ho
    long do these types of c

    ses usu

    lly t

    ke?

  • h

    t h

    ppens if they die

    nd thei

    c

    se is still open?

Tiff

ny discusses these points

nd so m

ny mo

e, so

e hope you’ll join us fo

this episode!

St

y tuned fo

the next inst

llment of the B

e

king Do

n The L

Podc

st <

i>

ith Ste

t J Guss

nd

shley

od

iguez!

Cont

ct Us: 281-783-3934 o

  <

h

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ilto:B

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kingDo

nTheL

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il.com">B

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kingDo

nTheL

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ite podc

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e<> foll the links to e

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Int

o  0:09 B

e

king do

n the L

podc

st hosted by

tto

neys

nd leg

l speci

lists discussing eve

yd

y l

nd ho

it

ffects

egul people,

egul

people. Let’s b

e

k do

n the l

ith ou

host, Stut Gus

shley

od

iguez. They h

ve the inside scoop on eve

ything leg

l

nd ne

s

o

thy.  

shley

od

iguez  0:34

elcome to b

e

king do

n the l

. Tod

y

e’

e gonn

be t

lking

bout m

ss to

ts.

nd

e h

ve

speci

l guest

ith us tod

y. Tiff

ny Little tell us

h

t you do fo

the fi

m.

 

Tiff

ny Little  0:46 Hello, I'm Tiff

ny Little I

m the m

n

ge

of the int

ke deptment

nd the

efe

l dep

tment

ith Ste

t Guss.

 

shley

od

iguez  0:54 So

h

t ex

ctly is

m

ss to

t c

se?

 

Tiff

ny Little  0:59

m

ss to

t is

civil

ction th

t involves nume

ous pl

intiffs

g

inst one o

mo

e defend

nts. In-st

te o

fede

l cou

t. l fi

ms often use m

ss medi

to

e

ch potenti

l pl

ces. The m

in c

tego

ies of m

ss to

ts include medic

l device inju

ies, p

esc

iption d

ug inju

ies,

nd

lso medic

l devices.

 

shley

od

iguez  1:21

l

ight, so

h

t is

ctu

lly the diffe

ence bet

een

m

stend

cl

ss

ction litig

tion,   Tiff

ny Little  1:29

the m

in diffe

ence bet

een

both no

m

lly h

s to do

ith ho

lge the g

oup of pl

intiffs is t

e

ting. So s

y, fo

inst

nce, m

ss to

ts often involve

g

oup of distinct individu

ls, sometimes f

om the s

me geogphic e

. Bec

use of this m

ss to

t typic

lly consists of

sm

ll g

oup of inju

ed pl

intiffs, then

h

t you

ould see

ith the cl

ss

ction suit,

lthough pl

intiffs in the m

ss to

t e pt of lge g

oups, o

they c

n be, e

ch membe

is still t

e

ted

s

n individu

l. So th

t me

ns th

t e

ch pl

intiff must p

ove ce

t

in f

cts, including ho

e

ch pe

son s inju

ed, to the defending. No

, cl

ss

ctions, on the othe

h

nd, e h

ndled

little diffe

ently in this type. The l

ge g

oup of pl

intiffs is conside

ed

cl

ss

nd is

ep

esented by

n individu

l c

lled

cl

ss

ep

esent

tive, the cl

ss

ep

esent

tive st

nds in fo

the

est of the cl

ss.

ll the membe

s

e technic

lly t

e

ted

s one point.

 

shley

od

iguez  2:28 So m

ss to

t, e

ch individu

l pe

son h

s to kind of p

ove thei

c

se b

sic

lly.

 

Tiff

ny Little  2:34 Coect. So like thei

inju

ies, theipp

ov

l us

ge,

ll of th

t info

m

tion is looked

t on

n individu

l b

sis in o

de

to dete

mine

h

t the v

lue

ould be of

ny potenti

l cl

im th

t they m

y h

ve.  

shley

od

iguez  2:46

So it b

sic

lly in

m

ss to

t, diffe

ent people could h

ve

diffe

ent settlement

mount.

nd   Tiff

ny Little  2:52

th

t is coect. Yes, m

m.  

shley

od

iguez  2:54

If the

e is

m

ss to

t c

se

g

inst medic

tion o

device th

t's impl

nted, is it ok

y to still use th

t medic

tion o

keep th

t device impl

nted?

 

Tiff

ny Little  3:04

ell, honestly, th

t question

ill be bette

suited fo docto

o

medic

l p

ovide

. The

e

e m

ny medic

tions o

devices th

t m

y still be on the mket,

ll the

hile they h

ve

n ongoing best so

t of litig

tion. So

e’d no

m

lly just

dvise people th

t if you’

e expe

iencing

ny issues o

complic

tions,

s

esult of

ny medic

tion o

medic

l device th

t you m

y still h

ve impl

nted, then

e highly suggest th

t you discuss

ll of these f

cto

s

ith you

docto

in det

il.

nd they

ill be the ones to dete

mine

h

t is the best pl

n of

ction

ith

espect to you

medic

l c

e?

 

shley

od

iguez  3:36 Ok

y, so th

t m

kes sense. So, if the docto

did s

y

nything is

emoved the device

ith th

t

ffects my c

se,

 

Tiff

ny Little  3:43 no, in most inst

nces, it definitely

ouldn't h

ve

ny being it

ould just go to you

medic

l t

e

tment.

nd in f

ct, seve

l litig

tions

he

e someone h

s

medic

l device impl

nted,

he

e it is c

using issues, th

t's one of the things th

t

e look fo

in

cl

im to sho

some

h

t of the v

lue of the cl

im is if, obviously, if

docto

is telling you to

emove this device th

t

ould equ

te to th

t the docto

feels like the

e’s some type of potenti

l hm o

d

m

ge th

t h

s

l

e

dy c

used So th

t

ight the

e

ould be something th

t

e

ould technic

lly

l

e

dy be used to

hen it comes to

medic

l device type cl

im.

nd in most inst

nces, obviously, if it is c

using inju

y, it

ouldn’t be something th

t you

ould still keep inside you

body. But

s I st

ted th

t

ould be b

sed on the docto

's

ecommend

tion.  

shley

od

iguez  4:29

But it could p

ob

bly help my c

se, of cou

se, if I h

d to

emove it. So if I’m expe

iencing issues, like f

om

medic

tion, ho

do I even find out th

t th

t issue is

el

ted to

potenti

l cl

im o

l

suit.

 

Tiff

ny Little  4:43 honestly,

ese

ching the inte

net is

l

ys

good stt. I me

n, in this d

y

nd

ge,

e

ll kno

you c

n p

etty much Google

nything. So I

ould suggest st

ting the

e,

nd you c

n simply google

h

teve

the medic

tion is

nd put in m

ss to

t o

Google th

t medic

tion

nd put in the

o

d cl

ims. Obviously, the othe

y

ould be to just go

he

d

nd cont

ct the pe

son

l inju

y fi

m like Ste

t J Guss this di

ectly,

nd then you’d be

ble to spe

k

ith someone

ho

ould be

ble to eithe

dvise you of th

t they e

o

king th

t specific M

ste

, o

they m

y be

ble to go

he

d

nd di

ect you to

nothe

fi

m th

t they e e of th

t might be h

ndling those signs

s

ell.  

shley

od

iguez  5:19

I got it.

h

t if I don’t use the medic

tion

nymo

e? Hoill I p

ove th

t I took th

t medic

tion?   Tiff

ny Little  5:27

ell, the

e

e seve

l

ys th

t you c

n p

ove th

t in most inst

nces,

h

t

e’

e

efe

ing to is p

oof of us

ge. So

e'

e

efeing to

medic

tion, o

it might be p

ov

ble exposu

e if you e exposed to some type of defect o

something th

t h

s to do

ith

medic

l device. So the m

in thing is going to be you

medic

l

eco

ds

nd phm

cy

eco

ds, those

e going to come into pl

y

nd

ny type of documents th

t

e going to h

ve eco

d of medic

tion still,

h

t you su

ge

ies you h

d, obviously, it

ould be hospit

l

eco

ds, if you h

d something impl

nted, o

m

ybe it

s in

genel docto

‘s office, it just depends. But most of the time, th

t's

he

e

e get th

t info

m

tion. No

the

e e times

he

e th

t info

m

tion m

y no longe

be

ccessible,

hethe

it's due to the st

tute fo

ho

long the st

te needs to m

int

in medic

l

eco

ds. But th

t's

hy

e

l

ys shot to suggest th

t people hold on to thei

copies of thei

p

esc

iption inse

ts o

keep tck of

ll the ph

m

cies th

t they use to do sc

ipts th

t

ill p

event th

t they need to

equest

eco

ds. In th

t time, they

ould be

ble to p

ovide the l

fi

m

ith th

t info

m

tion, such

s

ll the phm

cies, they use gu

ntee

ce

t

in timef

me o

the phm

cy they kno

th

t they filled the p

esc

iption

ith o

if it’s

medic

l device, then you kno

, the hospit

l o

docto

‘s office,

he

eve

they h

d th

t specific thing in-pl

ne to they

ill be

ble to p

ovide th

t info

m

tion.

nd

e

ill go f

om the

e

s f

s collecting the medic

l

eco

ds

nd being

ble to p

ove up the c

se.

 

shley

od

iguez  6:50 So

s

phm

cy

equi

ed to keep those

eco

ds

nd if they e ho

long do they keep those

eco

ds?

 

Tiff

ny Little  6:57 Yes, phm

cies ve

y much. So just like met

l p

ovide

s

e

equi

ed to m

int

in

eco

ds fo

ce

t

in

mount of time th

t

ll is subject to the st

te.

nd then it

lso even goes

s f

s digit

l

eco

ds ve

sus

egul, like p

pe

eco

ds.

nd you’d be su

p

ised bec

use the

e

e some people th

t still keep p

pe

eco

ds, but most of the time, they

equi

e you to keep the digit

l files fo

longe

time th

n

h

t they

equi

e you to keep

n

ctu

l hd file on

ctu

l hdcopy, so th

t

ould just depend on the st

te th

t you live in.

nd you c

n e

sily look th

t up on the

e’s

ce

t

in just like the medic

l bo

d, the

e's

ph

m

cy bod,

nd you’d be

ble to get

ll th

t info

m

tion

eg

ding ho

long they e

equi

ed to m

int

in the p

esc

iption

eco

ds.  

shley

od

iguez  7:40

esome. But of cou

se, if I h

d

lye

, they

ould c

ll them fo

me. Coect?   Tiff

ny Little  7:45

Co

ect. Most l

fi

ms, if they don't collect medic

l

eco

ds in the house, then they

ill use

comp

ny th

t is specific

lly hi

ed to obt

in medic

l

nd phm

cy

eco

ds.

nd they

ould kno

h

t to do in th

t inst

nce, in o

de

to m

ke su

e to get the

eco

ds fo

the c

se

ny visit they h

d been dest

oyed. Bec

use like I s

id, if they only

equi

ed to keep them fo

seven yes,

nd s

y, fo

inst

nce, this is 10 yes l

te

, they m

y h

ve them in they m

y not but

e still

ould h

ve to

equest spe

ks to the phm

cy to see

hethe

o

not those

eco

ds

ill still be

v

il

ble. esome.  

shley

od

iguez  8:15

So

h

t if I h

d sevel issues, p

e-existing conditions

ill not

ffect

ny cl

im I h

ve fonothe

type of medic

tion o

device?

 

Tiff

ny Little  8:26

ell, th

t

ill depend on the m

ss to

t

nd

h

t the c

ite

i

is to qu

lify. But it doesn't

utom

tic

lly me

n th

t you

on't qu

lify. It could be

n inst

nce

he

e you

p

e-existing condition might not h

ve

ny co

el

tion to the medic

tion o

device in question. So it's best to discuss this

ith the l

fi

m you'

e in cont

ct

ith

bout you

potenti

l cl

im

nd just m

ke su

e you she

ith them

ll of you

medic

l histo

y.

nd then you'll be

ble to let you kno

t th

t point

hethe

o

not you

p

e-existing condition is something th

t m

y you kno

disqu

lify you o

m

ybe not even disqu

lify you m

y be less of

cl

im o

not the s

me v

lue

s if you

ouldn't h

ve h

d th

t p

e-existing condition. But

ll th

t depends on

h

t the m

ss so

ting is,

h

t the c

ite

i

is,

nd

h

t h

s been identified

s issues

s

esult of th

t medic

tion.

 

shley

od

iguez  9:16 So definitely, it's impo

t

nt to s

y

ll of th

t stuff upf

ont.   Tiff

ny Little  9:20

Co

ect.

 

shley

od

iguez  9:22 So ho

long do these types of c

ses usu

lly t

ke befo

e they settle?

nd I see some so

t of some.

 

Tiff

ny Little  9:30 Honestly, e

ch m

ste

v

ies

lot.

nd

e t

y to tell people th

t it ce

t

inly isn't

s

ift p

ocess in o

de

to help m

n

ge expect

tions.

e don’t

nt people to be expecting, I’m going to get this money in six months o

ye

o

even t

o ye

s. It t

kes time to g

the

medic

l

eco

ds. It t

kes time to go th

ough the discove

y ph

se, the collecting of the evidence, the

e e so m

ny f

cto

s th

t

tt

ibute to m

ss fo

ce,

nd especi

lly

hen you’

e de

ling

ith lge

g

oups of people. Is the

e fo

some h

ve l

sted th

ee to five ye

s befo

e

ecove

y s

eceived

nd m

ny m

y end in no

ecove

y

t

ll? It just

e

lly depends on e

ch m

ste

individu

lly.  

shley

od

iguez  10:11

So ye

h, definitely lots of diffe

ent f

cto

s in the

i

.

nd you should definitely discuss those kinds of individu

l needs

ith you

l

ye

.   Tiff

ny Little  10:21

Yes, definitely.

 

shley

od

iguez  10:22 So

h

t h

ppens if someone h

s

m

ss to

t open,

nd then they p

ss

y befo

e it sells,

 

Tiff

ny Little  10:31

ell, no

m

lly is

f

mily o

ep

esent

tive

ho h

s the po

e

of

tto

ney to h

ndle leg

l m

tte

s on th

t pe

son’s beh

lf c

n continue the c

se on thei

beh

lf

nd

e

eceive

ny potenti

l settlement th

t could be

eceived. In these inst

nces, it c

n get t

icky if the

e’s not

ill on file o

po

e

of

tto

ney

l

e

dy executed p

io

to the pe

son’s de

th. So th

t’s

hy in some inst

nces,

e do, unfo

tun

tely, get some clients th

t

e kno

they’

e not doing too

ell. O

m

ybe they’

e up in

ge, o

they just h

ve

lot of things medic

lly going on

he

e thei

docto

m

y be st

ting th

t they m

y not h

ve much time

ith this lift.

nd in those inst

nces,

e do t

y to encou

ge the f

mily o

kind of let them kno

like, Ok

y, this is the p

ocess she needs to do ohethe

o

not they m

y h

ve to see somebody outside of ouep

esent

tion th

t h

s mo

e to do

ith p

ob

te cou

t

nd being

ble to

o

k out those m

tte

s. But

e

ould just suggest to them to m

ke su

e th

t they go

he

d

nd t

y to get something in pl

ce. Bec

use h

ving something in pl

ce p

io

to the p

ssing of the client

ill m

ke th

t p

ocess

lot e

sie

is

hen

settlement is

eceived

nd needed.  

shley

od

iguez  11:42

Ye

h,

nd I me

n, th

t’s impo

t

nt.

e h

d

n episode

bout

ills

nd p

ob

te, too,

nd ho

impo

t

nt it is to p

otect you

self bec

use you just neve

kno

.   Tiff

ny Little  11:51

th

t is ex

ctly

ight. I me

n, you just neve

kno

. So

e definitely t

y to encou

ge th

t, like I s

id, especi

lly on these m

ss to

ts.

nd

lot of times if people e up in

ge o

they h

ve

lot of medic

l issues going on p

tis

n inste

d of

conve

s

tion,

e definitely t

y to just expl

in to them so they c

n kno

, you kno

h

t they

ould be de

ling

ith me if they did h

ve eight on top?  

shley

od

iguez  12:11

Yes. So Tiff

ny, if you h

d to give somebody one piece of

dvice fo

looking up

m

ste

o

to p

epe themselves fo possible m

ss to

t th

t come up in thei

life,

h

t

ould you give them?

 

Tiff

ny Little  12:26 If I could give one piece of

dvice to

nybody

ho might be involved in

m

ss o

l

te

on in life, I

ould s

y good

eco

d keeping, m

ke su

e to keep tck of docto

s th

t you've seen on phm

cies th

t you've used, I t

ke it

step fu

the

nd keep copies of the p

esc

iption p

intout inse

ts th

t they give e

ch time you get

medic

tion, bec

use th

t’s going to p

esc

ibe

ll of you

dos

ge info

m

tion, NDC codes,

ll of th

t info

m

tion th

t could be

e

lly,

e

lly,

e

lly impo

t

nt to

mess o

do

n the line.

nd the l

st thing I

ould s

y is be completely honest

ith you

docto

s,

henevee go to

docto

nd they give us medicine.

nd if

e

epo

t b

ck th

t, oh, this medicine gives me

he

d

che. This medicine gives me di

he

, it gives me

stom

ch

che,

ll th

t info

m

tion, the docto

th

t h

s to be

epo

ted to the phm

covigil

nce. So th

t they c

n see if Ok

y,

e h

ve thous

nds of people th

t

e s

ying they h

ve the s

me inju

y, di

he

, so no

th

t becomes

side effect. So m

ybe they put th

t

s

side effect on the medic

tion. So if you’

e going to potenti

lly be

pt of

to

t is ve

y impo

t

nt th

t you e honest,

nd eve

ybody's being honest, they m

y be

ble to identify issues

ith ce

t

in medic

tions f

ste

. So I

ould s

y good

eco

d keeping

ill be numbe

one, keeping tck of

ll ph

m

cies, docto

s you’ve seen.

nd the second pt is to be completely honest

ith you

medic

l p

ovide

s

bout ho

you feel ho

medic

tions m

ke you feel ho

you’

e doing

ith you

help.

shley

od

iguez  13:56

Oh, the

e's some g

e

t tips bec

use I don’t think

e often think

bout ou

side effects

nd ho

it could

ffect multiple othe

people

nd the medic

tion.   Tiff

ny Little  14:06

Yes, definitely, definitely

e helping to pull something off the line th

t is c

using

lot of issues. But if nobody's spe

king up, ho

ill they eve

kno

?

 

shley

od

iguez  14:15 Ve

y t

ue.  If you h

ve

ny othe

questions, ple

se cont

ct Ste

t J Guss

nd

e

ould love to help you out

ith

m

ss to

t c

se. Th

nk you.

 

Tiff

ny Little  14:29 Th

nk you.

 

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