Part 1- Inferno- Dante And Early Case Assessment- There Is Light At The End Of The Tunnel
by Larry Carson
You see it every night. The television volume goes up several decibels, and suddenly you’re confronted with a law firm seeking clients who used your product. A few months later the litigation starts to roll in from all over the country and you’re confronted with the reality of dealing with another mass tort filing with another long list of plaintiffs. You’ve been there and done that. But no matter how many times you’ve been there before, it’s time to head down that dark passageway once again.
Just like so many previous trips, you’ll travel through the 9 circles of mass tort hell. And, in case you forgot, here’s a refresher on what you can expect:
Limbo- Described as spending eternity in an inferior place. In this instance, spending countless weekends at the office while the family is at the beach
Lust– no time for that
Gluttony- You will have time for this, but really- how much take-out food can you eat?
Greed- The initial demand letter
Anger- There will be those moments
Heresy- Opposing counsel never seems to run short of provocative theories to test your mettle
Violence- You hope not, but you never can tell
Fraud- What you may be accused of
Treachery- Another accusation possibly coming your way
Sound familiar? All these circles are well represented in any mass tort filing. And you’ll slog through the muck, circle by circle, for what seems like eternity, if you don’t have an escape plan. A plan that involves early case assessment.
But not every company thinks that early case assessment is a priority item. Those companies are content with where they are. Not too hot, and not too cold depending on their perspective and how far they are from the grasp of the dwellers of the 9th Circle- Judas, Brutus and Cassius. They would rather follow the longtime established industry regime for dealing with the defense of mass tort litigation and hope for a different result. But hope does not live here. You abandoned it at the door.
But, what if you decided that this time you won’t go down the same dark and scary path? What if you changed your perspective? What if you developed an attitude? What if you took a page from Peter Finch’s character-Howard Beale– in Network, and shouted to the rooftops “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Now that’s an attitude that could make a difference.
In Part 2, Purgatory- we’ll explore what a new client did to regain hope by developing a viable escape plan from a newly created mass tort filing by initiating an early case assessment strategy . Their departure from the norm has all the key elements to successfully extricate them from the grimy pit of the inferno of mass tort defense as usual to the more enlightening and calming realms of a middle ground leading to a better life. In this case a real life after enduring years in the inferno.