More On Being First To File

I recently blogged about whether there is value to the client in being first to file a lawsuit. I was talking specifically about the litigation that has already commenced as a result of the recent DC Metro train crash.

A few points have been raised by other folks that I think are interesting. First- apparently there is a very remote likelihood of settlement in any case involving WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority). Because of this, many attorneys with experience in litigating against WMATA think filing suit quickly is the best way to make a recovery for the client without delay.

I get that, kind of. It sounds like litigating against MAIF. There’s no point in negotiating, so many think it is best to just file.

Others have pointed out that in a case like this where there is a mass injury with many potential lawsuit filings, there is a good likelihood that the cases will be consolidated, so filing first may increase the chance that the early filers will have a significant role in controlling the course of the litigation.

Maybe I just have more of a fear of playing catch-up than other attorneys. The points above seem valid, but I would be interested in the “early filers” views on what the disadvantage to the client is because of waiting, other than the obvious time delay.