Ron Miller is a Maryland personal injury lawyer who focuses on serious injury and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, and products and premises liability. This site is designed to provide practical information to both injury victims and plaintiffs' attorneys in the Baltimore-Washington area who want to achieve a fair settlement or verdict. If you are looking for counsel for your case, call him at 410-779-4600

Published on:

Last week, the Maryland Court of Appeals decided Falls Garden Condominium Association v. Falls Homeowner’s Association.  It is not a personal injury case. In fact, it’s a case about parking spots. But Falls Garden is actually alawyers2 case about settlement contracts and their enforceability.  If you are a Maryland personal injury lawyer, you need to know when a deal is actually a binding deal.

Typically, counsel on both sides of the aisle assume that you have a binding deal when you agree to the numbers on the claim.  Most settlements really do go smooth, particularly in car accident cases.  State Farm, GEICO and their brethren do not really care about confidentially, admissions, or anything else outside of its standard form settlement agreement.   But malpractice insurers and their doctors and hospitals and product liability defendants often treat settlement agreements like they are reinventing the wheel.

Keep in mind that, as plaintiffs’ attorneys, we never really have those types of things we are trying to slip in under the wire for a settlement.  Our essential term is money and we are not trying to get the defendants to agree to other terms in personal injury cases.

So what this new Maryland Court of Appeals ruling is about is to what extent defendants can impose conditions after settlement and say, “If you don’t like it, we don’t have a deal.”

What This Case is Really About

This case happened because a condo association and a homeowner’s association were feuding over parking spots.  This is because it is a scientific fact that 93.4% of the people involved in condo and homeowner’s associations are stone nuts.  But, after having to resort to litigation, the parties were able to come to a deal on the key issue of the parking spots. They put together a letter of intent memorizing the deal.  The agreement was silent on whether the agreement was intended to be binding.  But the Plaintiff has a change of heart, fires its lawyer and gets another one to try to nix the settlement agreement.  Why?  I don’t know. But remember what I said about these people a minute ago.  Ultimately, both the trial court and Court of Appeals said that the letter of intent was binding on the parties and encompassed the settlement.

The Court’s Logic

Judge Battaglia’s opinion read like a Contracts I Maryland law school exam, explaining the doctrines of “mutual assent,” “materiality,” and the “objective theory of contracts.” But legalease aside, the main question she was tasked with answering was whether both the condo association and homeowner’s association intended to be bound to the letter of intent. She explained two scenarios in which parties would be bound to the letter:

  1. When parties agree on all “essential” terms, only leaving out relevant matters that are not “essential”
  2. When the parties lay every term out on the table and specifically say that they agree to them

She quickly crossed option two off the list, noting that the parties did not explicitly say that they intended the letter of intent to be the final deal. But she did find that, prior to the letter of intent, the parties agreed on the “essential” or “material” terms of the deal, and the letter of intent merely included those terms. The court’s analysis hinged on the terms “essential” and “material.”

Think about this to help: view the contract (letter of intent) as a car. Think of the parking spot lease agreement as the engine: it’s essential to making the car run, it’s the purpose of having a car. Think of the other terms at issue as the spare tire under the trunk: yeah it helps to have it, but it’s not necessary to make the car run.  Here, the engine (lease agreement) was in the car (letter of intent), along with the other essential terms, so it was ready to go, and was binding on the parties.

So how exactly could this tie back into a personal injury settlement?

In a personal injury settlement, there is really one main term that is “essential” and “material:” defendants pay money so that plaintiffs will drop claims.  So going back to our scenario above, let’s say you agree via telephone to accept $500,00 in exchange for dropping the claim.  I don’t think it matters if it is before or after suit is filed.  The defense lawyer does not discuss any other term with you when you make the settlement. But you then get the email attachment with their additional terms.  What are those terms?  Usually it is a confidentially provision that was not asked for in the oral agreement or maybe some language demanding Medicare or other indemnification.

Under this case, the question becomes whether they are material and essential terms of the deal.  I would argue no.  But unless a case comes out that is truly on point, I think you have to be careful. This means you don’t stand down by releasing  your experts, the witnesses you have under subpoena and everything else you need to go to trial until you have an agreement firmly in place.

For contract lawyers and especially for students getting ready to sit for the Maryland bar exam, this case is also a great read.  You can find the opinion in Falls Garden Condominium Association v. Falls Homeowner’s Association  here.

Published on:

Osteomyelitis is a serious bone infection characterized by inflammation of the bone/bone marrow that can prove fatal if not properly treated.  Usually, when it is not properly treated, it is because a doctor has misdiagnosed the condition.  This happens far more often than it should.

Osteomyelitis is caused by bacterial or fungal infections. If caught early, the condition is treatable with antibiotics and, in some cases, surgery. However, if left untreated due to misdiagnosis, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. If bone death occurs, amputation may be the only option to prevent the spread of infection. We are focusing our attention on humans, obviously. But osteomyelitis is not limited to humans.  Elephants in particular are particularly prone to this condition, which is often misdiagnosed and leads to their death.

If you have a potential osteomyelitis medical malpractice claim in Maryland, call us at 800-553-8082 or visit our website for a free online consultation.

What Causes Osteomyelitis?

As with any infection, the spread of germs to a vulnerable area is usually the culprit for causing osteomyelitis. A patient may contract osteomyelitis during orthopedic surgery, especially if hardware is used to fix a fractured bone. Osteomyelitis can also occur if bacteria from major local infections such as cellulitis or necrotizing fasciitis enter the blood stream. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most common sources of osteomyelitis is staphylococcus aureus, which are bacteria commonly found on skin and mucous membranes. If an injury results in broken or punctured skin, staphylococcus aureus has a direct pathway into the body. This means that deep puncture wounds like dog bites can lead to osteomyelitis if not properly treated.

Once the bone is infected, white blood cells are attracted to the infected area. In an attempt to kill the infection, these cells (called leukocytes) release enzymes that actually attempt to destroy the bone. Since bones are highly vascular, pus from the immediate infection disrupts the blood flow to local vessels causing bone death. Luckily, the human immune system fights bone death by sending osteoblasts to repair the damaged bone.

These cells create new bony structures that are very visible as bone deformities on diagnostic tests such as x-rays. This is a classic way of distinguishing between chronic and acute osteomyelitis, as chronic osteomyelitis creates more deformities.

Who is at Higher Risk for Contracting Osteomyelitis?

Those who have experienced the following are at a higher risk of contracting osteomyelitis:

  • Recent trauma or fracture to a bone
  • Recent orthopedic surgery (especially open reduction internal fixation of bone with hardware)
  • Recent major skin infection (especially cellulitis or necrotizing fasciitis)
  • Recent skin ulcerations or open wounds
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • History of diabetes
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Osteomyelitis?

Signs and symptoms of osteomyelitis include:

  • Pain in the area of the infection
  • Fever or chills
  • Irritability or lethargy in children
  • Swelling, warmth, and redness in the area of the infection
  • It is important to note that sometimes there are no direct signs of immediate infection.

How is Osteomyelitis Diagnosed?

Osteomyelitis is commonly diagnosed by blood tests, diagnostic imaging, and bone biopsy.

Blood tests

By far the most common way to diagnose osteomyelitis is through a CBC blood test. If an infection is occurring, the test will likely reveal an elevated white blood cell count (WBC).

White blood cells are responsible for fighting off most infections in the body. Normal levels range from 4,500 – 10,000 white blood cells per microliter. Any number above this may be indicative of an infection

Diagnostic imaging

X-rays are a very effective tool for diagnosing osteomyelitis. Generally speaking, it is cheaper to get an x-ray considering nearly every healthcare facility has an x-ray machine nearby. Moreover, despite their limitations in revealing damage to soft tissue, x-rays are very good at visualizing bony structures. However, damage may not be visible until osteomyelitis has been present for several weeks.

More expensive tests can also be used to provide detailed images. Computerized Tomography (CT scans) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide detailed images of the bone and the surrounding soft tissue.

Bone biopsy

A bone biopsy can reveal what particular organism is causing the osteomyelitis and is another important tool for determining what antibiotics should be used for treatment.

How is Osteomyelitis Treated?

Osteomyelitis is usually treated with antibiotics and surgery. Hospitalization and a course of IV antibiotics for around ten weeks are required. If a large area of the bone has died or the infection has spread, surgery may be required to drain the infected area, remove diseased bone and tissue, and restore blood flow. There have also been instances when a surgeon was required to amputate the infected area to stop the infection from spreading.

When is the Failure to Diagnose or Treat Osteomyelitis Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice typically occurs when a physician fails to recognize or respond to the signs and symptoms of osteomyelitis. On many occasions a simple reading of a patient’s medical records can reveal if they are at higher risk for osteomyelitis. A patient with a recent history of trauma, infection, or orthopedic surgery would fall into this category.

Commonly, the patient presents with symptoms of severe pain, redness, and swelling in the location of the infection. Medical malpractice may occur if the physician fails to diagnose osteomyelitis by performing the appropriate diagnostic testing or fails to treat the condition by prescribing the appropriate antibiotics. Surgery can be avoided with the timely administration of IV antibiotics, making it essential for the physician to pay close attention to the patient’s symptoms.

Sample Settlements and Verdicts

To give you an idea of how juries rule in osteomyelitis cases, we pulled some plaintiff’s verdicts at random. These are a fairly mixed-bag of cases and facts, so you should not consider these as the ultimate arbiter of your case’s worth. Still, consider this one tool to use when evaluating the value of your case.

  • 2015, Virginia: $600,000 Settlement – After suffering from severe back pain, a 64 year-old man presents to the emergency room. He is diagnosed with a lumbar strain and told to take ibuprofen. Three days later, the man presents again, complaining of similar pain. No physical examination was given, and the patient is, once again, told to continue taking ibuprofen. He returns again the following day, only to be diagnosed with several infections including osteomyelitis. He is eventually transferred to Johns Hopkins, where he is treated for various illnesses including encephalitis and the other infections. Other doctors suggest that a CT scan and administration of IV antibiotics would have prevented the severe illnesses suffered by the plaintiff. As a result, he sues the original hospital, settling the claim prior to trial.
  • 2014, Pennsylvania: $3,500,000 Verdict – A man with a history of diabetes has to undergo surgery to treat his Cauda Equina Syndrome. After the surgery, the man develops pressure sores throughout his body, with the worst being on his feet. The man also develops sores on his coccyx from being left in a bedpan for significant amount of time. After also developing MRSA and other infections, the patient undergoes a total of 18 surgeries. He then develops osteomyelitis in his foot, causing him to undergo amputation surgery to further prevent the spread of infection. The man sues the hospital claiming that the negligent care caused the infections and subsequent surgeries. The defense drew attention to the man’s elevated risk of developing infection, claiming that they did all that they could to prevent infection. The jury disagreed and awards a $3,500,000.
  • 2013, Maryland: $869,082 Verdict – A 56 year-old man presents to the hospital emergency room. He had undergone neck surgery 10 years earlier, putting him at high risk for developing osteomyelitis. Over the first 4 days of hospitalization he complained of persistent neck pain. However, no one examined his neck or performed an x-ray. He was simply given morphine. On the fifth day, a cardiologist performed a cardiac catheterization. Following the procedure, the man somehow fractured his neck and spent the next 41 days on life support until he passed away. An x-ray following the catheterization revealed that the man had been suffering from osteomyelitis. The Plaintiff contended that a simple x-ray would have led to a diagnosis prior to the catheterization. The Plaintiff also contended that once the diagnosis was made, the application of a soft collar would have guarded against a neck fracture. After deliberating for several hours the jury returned a verdict of $869,082.
  • 2006, Maryland: $1,000,000 Settlement – A woman goes to an orthopedist for a cervical laminectomy. Following the surgery, she returns to the orthopedist for treatment because the surgical incision was painful, red, and draining pus. The orthopedist cultures the fluid and finds evidence of Staphylococcus areus. He prescribes an oral antibiotic but the patient sees no improvement. The infection spreads and she eventually needs additional surgeries, including a total right hip replacement. The woman sues the orthopedist, contending that he was negligent in failing to consult with an infectious disease specialist at the time of the culture and that he should have prescribed IV antibiotics. The case settled prior to trial for $1,000,000.
  • 2004, Maryland: $2,200,000 Settlement – In this tragic case, a 71 year-old man presents to the hospital with severe back pain. He sees an orthopedist that diagnoses him discitis and prescribes pain medications. 17 days later, the man is discharged. He follows up with the same orthopedist on two additional occasions over the next several weeks complaining of severe back pain, neck pain, and feeling sensations of electrical shocks down both arms. Each time the orthopedist fails to diagnose the condition. A few days later, he goes to the hospital. Within hours, the man loses the ability to move his arms and legs. An MRI revealed he had been suffering from osteomyelitis. Due to the orthopedist’s negligence in failing to diagnose and treat the condition, the man is permanently paralyzed. The case settled prior to trial for $2,200,000.
  • Get more verdict information and more details on these cases.

Medical Malpractice Claims in Maryland: Getting Help

If you think you have a potential wrongful death malpractice claim for someone you loved because a doctor failed to diagnose osteomyelitis, call 800-553-8082 or get a free no obligation case evaluation.

Published on:

maryland-lawA U.S. federal court judge made a ruling on some motions that are of interest to Maryland medical malpractice attorneys.  They deal with a motion for summary judgment and, a pet interest of mine, holding defendants feet to the fire when they give garbage answers to requests for admission.

This is a birth injury claim against Defendants Calvert Memorial Hospital of Calvert County, that hospital’s emergency room and emergency room doctor, and the United States.  The government is a defendant for care given at Andrews Air Force Base.

Plaintiff  got prenatal care on Andrews Air Force Base.   A month before delivering, the mom-to-be presented with high blood pressure and had laboratory studies with elevated proteins, symptoms that indicate some risk of preeclampsia.  Three weeks later, the woman gives birth to her daughter at Calvert Memorial Hospital.

Five days later, she presents back to the hospital with high blood pressure,  headache, nausea, “tingly” feeling, and feeling light headed. She was evaluated by the defendant emergency department doctor.  He gave her a head  CT which was thought to be normal and they found no protein in her urine.  She was discharged with instructions to follow up with her OB/GYN which she did the very next day because she was still doing poorly.

The woman went to the OB/GYN at Andrews with a blood pressure of 181/93 and she still had a headache. Her OB  treated the pressure symptoms by prescribing an anti-hypertensive.  She was discharged.  Again. That night, she went to the ER at Andrews and had a seizure in the waiting room.

What happened? She had a brain hemorrhage from preplampsia.

A lawsuit follows.  Many, many medical malpractice lawsuits are contentious.  But malpractice claims like this where there are multiple target defendants almost always lead to World War III.  And this case has delivered as promised: motions to compel answers to requests for admission, oppositions to request for more time, failed mediation, battles of ex parte communications with doctor, Facebook discovery battles, motions to seal exhibits, and so forth.  It is one of those “who loses the slowest” pieces of litigation.

Summary Judgment

The big issue the court was addressed with for this opinion is whether to grant defendant’s motion for summary judgment.  Plaintiff had just one causation expert and one standard of care expert.

This battle on summary judgment is fought deep in the weeds.  They claim the plaintiff’s standard of care expert only testified to his own standard of care, not what the doctor had an obligation to do.  How do they do this?  But nitpicking word choice.  The court did not have much to say about this issue.  Presumably, the court was not going to raise silly technicalities over the clear substance of the expert’s testimony.

The bigger claim was that even assuming the doctor was able to get the patient’s blood pressure down, the plaintiffs’ own causation expert could not say that the alleged negligence caused the injury.   This is one of those things that absolutely terrifies you when you get the motion.  But this is just one of the expert’s opinions and what the defendant did was take one statement out of context and try to get the entire case dismissed as a result. [I got half way through the details but hit delete because it was too specific for the scope of this post.  It is fair to say that the defense had a point… until you considered the full context.]  It is pretty hard to blow these kinds of arguments past a federal court judge.

Requests for Admission Battle

Requests for admission are a good tool for parties in malpractice cases and they are a good tool for judicial economy.  Why more attorneys do not use them is a mystery to me. Actually, it is not entirely a mystery.  One reason no one uses them is that getting anything other than obstructionist answers is near impossible.  But this plaintiffs’ lawyer did what he should do and held plaintiffs’ feet to the fire.  So they modified their ridiculous “vague and overbroad” objections to something more substantive that was still not remotely substantive.   He filed a motion to compel.

Most of the requests were to narrow down the plaintiffs’ medical history.

It is not worth getting too deep into the details of these requests either. But  most of the requests went something like this:

Q: Admit that, prior to the pregnancy, Ms. Ford did not have a history high blood pressure?

A:  This Defendant lacks sufficient information to either admit or deny the information set forth in this request insofar as this Defendant has not been provided with mental health records dating back to adolescence for Angela Ford and therefore denies the same.

The court found that the defendants really could not know with certainty the answer and qualified it appropriately. I’m eager to disagree with the court on this but it is hard.  I think the question could have been better framed by saying “you have no evidence that” because it is a little hard to prove that negative.

It will be interesting to hear how this case resolves.

Published on:

Serious auto accident cases have been a central focus of our law firm since we opened our doors 13 years ago.  We have earned our clients over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in motor vehicle accident cases.  We believe this blog and our website does more than anything else on line to educate victims about their rights and let them better understand the opportunities they have for compensation… and how to get it.

What to Do After a Car Accidentaccident 4

Depending on the severity of the accident, the first thing that you should do is seek medical treatment for anyone who needs it. Granted, if it is a fender bender, EMS might not be necessary. At an accident scene, be vigilant of all the details. Make sure you know who your witnesses are, the amount and severity of the damage to the involved vehicles. Also, know the circumstances including the conditions, the precise location, and even the positions of the vehicles. This can only help you in the long run. Remember what they told you in kindergarten: silence is golden. Try to say as little as possible at the accident scene.  You do not need to prove your case to the police officers or anyone else at the scene of the accident. Do not estimate speeds, predict who was at fault, or speculate about the accident and the evidence.  Instead, seek medical treatment if you need it, then contact a lawyer when your claim is fresh in your mind and accident reconstruction evidence can be accumulated if necessary. Continue reading →

Published on:

settlement3Valuing car accident cases for settlement in Maryland is a challenge. The most important thing in any case is the severity of the injuries. That is probably all that should matter.  But there are many more variables that drive how much money the insurance company will offer to settle an injury claim before a lawsuit is filed.  This is a list of 12 factors that really matter in determining the settlement value of any auto collision injury claim:

Continue reading →

Published on:

malpractice 2Most malpractice lawsuits in Maryland are resolved after negotiating through adversarial bargaining.  At the end of the day, our clients only have two options: settle or go to trial. Sometimes, they do not even have two options.  We have tried medical malpractice cases where there was no settlement offer.

Is There a Formula to Determine the Value of Medical Malpractice Cases?

There is a settlement formula to determine the value of a medical malpractice claim.   The formula has four parts:

Continue reading →

Published on:

lawyers2Most of the medical malpractice cases Miller & Zois handles come from cases that are referred from other Maryland attorneys.  These cases come from other lawyers who do not focus their practice on medical malpractice cases, or the size and the expenses in the case or the specific issues presented are such that getting other counsel involved makes the most sense.

In these cases, we do 70%-30% fee split with the referring law consistent with Maryland Rule 1.5 in medical negligence cases. Our firm fronts and bears the risk on all costs and expenses. I put that 70%-30% number right out there because fee splits always seem cloaked in mystery. The only information on line that involves fee splits comes from appellate opinions. So we want to get it out there.

This post talks about how this works in Maryland, why this is actually a good system for victims, and discusses a Maryland Court of Special Appeals case pending on this issue.  If this post reminds potential referring lawyers that we handle medical malpractice cases and invites lawyers to refer cases to our law firm, all the better.

Continue reading →

Published on:

elderlysigningBecoming the victim of an auto accident can have a profound effect on your life. Even though an accident can happen in the span of a few seconds, it can result in death or injuries and hardships that last months, years, or a lifetime. With that in mind, victims of auto accidents should seek an attorney to ensure that they are compensated for their injuries and/or losses. However, not every attorney is qualified to handle every case. Clients should ensure that they receive the representation that they deserve.   Here are five things to consider when hiring a Maryland car accident attorney:

History of Results

Car accident claims are about money.   That’s it.  The car accident lawyer’s goal has to be to maximize the amount of money the client can put in their pocket.   There is no reason to run from this.  Our civil justice system is based on the payment of money compensation to balance out the harm that was caused.  The point is that you want a law firm that has the goal of getting you as much money as possible and has a history of doing it for their clients.  So when dealing with an accident claim, why jeopardize your potential recovery by placing it in the hands of an attorney (or law firm) without a proven track-record of obtaining money for clients?  Really, it is like putting a high school kid in center field for the Baltimore Orioles.  While skill obviously matters when looking for a lawyer, anyone with a potential auto accident claim must seek the help of an attorney who can turn that skill into results for their client.

Experience

In any auto accident case, the need for an experienced attorney is a no-brainer. You need a lawyer with experience representing plaintiffs in these types of cases. But how can you figure out who has real experience and who is just running television commercials so frequently that people just assume they have experience.  First, go back to results, right?  There are a lot of lawyers that get good results because they get so many cases via good marketing because they are bound to get a few good scores just like a blind squirrel will still find acorns.  But it is still a pretty reliable barometer to use as a threshold test.  Next, try to get a flavor of how they are viewed in the legal community.  We always tell prospective clients to call other lawyers and ask for a list of names of the other law firms that handle these cases well.   Most lawyers will answer honestly and you will hear the same few firms over and over again.  Next, read what they write on line.  Are they really providing information that makes sense that you can use?  Do they seem like lawyers who will fight for and stand behind their clients?

Knowledge and Resources

You are probably starting to see how interwoven these categories are.  Our law firm offers free consultations on your case.  So does pretty much every other personal injury lawyer in Maryland.   So take plaintiffs’ lawyer up on this offer.  Talk to them.  You might not understand Maryland accident law and the best path through the system. But I bet you are smart enough to figure out who knows what they are talking about.  Again, also read what they put on-line.  Certainly, it is not a full proof plan.  I found great information on websites from lawyers who I do not think are qualified to handle the cases on which they are speaking quite eloquently.  They probably cut and pasted their wisdom from somewhere.  But, in combination with these other factors, it is a good gauge of who is who. Our firm puts our work on-line.  You can see our depositions.  You can read our trial transcripts.  We have videos on line where we talk about these cases.  Evaluate us and evaluate other lawyers, too.

Respect

Everyone wants a lawyer who respects them and will fight for them.  That’s obvious.  The question is how to find the lawyer and how do you find and evaluate which lawyer will do that for you.  You can look at testimonials, sure, but they do not give you a great flavor.  On-line reviews are very misleading because you either have a firm who is pushing for on-line reviews which might give you an incorrect impression or you are listening to a few angry people who usually are just upset that the firm investigated their case and then declined to represent them.  The best thing you can do is talk to the lawyer and ask the hard questions about the type of service you are going to receive.

Reputation

You need someone with extensive knowledge of auto accident claims, vast experience of settling and trying cases, exemplary client satisfaction, and a track record of getting monetary awards for its clients.  One gauge is the legal awards.   The attorneys at Miller & Zois, for example,  have been recognized by all of the major outlets that give out legal distinctions for Maryland personal injury lawyers: “SuperLawyers,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Avvo” and so forth.  I’m proud of these awards.  These are useful, up to a point.  But only up to a point.  I certainly don’t think my inclusion on these lists is a critical component of why I’m qualified to handle you case.  I think you really need to talk to other lawyers to find out who the big players are in Maryland injury cases and, circling back one more time, look at the results these lawyers have gotten.

Hiring Miller & Zois

If you are the victim of an auto accident, or an attorney looking to refer an auto accident case, contact Miller & Zois at 800-553-8082. We offer a free initial consultation for clients and have the tools required to successfully argue your case.

Published on:

lawyersThe medical malpractice arm of our law firm has continued to grow over the last 10 years.   I think it is interesting to see who the defense lawyers are in these cases.  It matters who you draw as defense counsel.  You would think, as a plaintiff’s lawyer, you would like to draw the least competent counsel as possible.

There is some truth to this.  Lazy and incompetent counsel sometimes miss key defenses and critical arguments that the health care provide should make.   But this rule has a lot of exceptions.  Defense lawyers who get behind the eight ball sometimes make it even harder on us.  Because it is impossible to schedule depositions, get discovery responses and otherwise push the case forward.  You usually get to the same place in the end but sometimes the workload doubles just because the other side is so nonresponsive.  Sometimes, particularly if you have a quality liability case, you are best served by having quality defense lawyers who do what it takes to properly defend the case.

Continue reading →

Published on:

xareltoAll Xarelto lawsuits, including lawsuits to be filed by Maryland residents, will be consolidated before U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

This happened quickly.  Xarelto came on to the market three years ago.  Now there is a class action type MDL that has been created because there are too many lawsuits.  This does not speak well to this drug and it does not speak well to Johnson & Johnson and Bayer, who introduced Xarelto with so much pomp, circumstance and excitement that it might be a drug that could really change the quality of people’s lives.

What the MDL Means?

I always call an MDL a “sort of” class action.   All federally filed cases — which is the vast majority of these claim and virtually all of the Maryland claims — are consolidated under one federal judge in a single jurisdiction, Louisiana in this case.   When a lawsuit is filed, the lawyers have an opportunity to conduct discovery where both sides get a chance to learn about the case.  In the Xarelto lawsuits, there are some facts common to all of these claims.  The biggest issue is going to be what Bayer and J&J knew or should have known about the bleeding risks associated with Xarelto.

Continue reading →