Some of these cases, like the Chantix suicide cases or the gadolinium MRI cases, led to meaningful compensation for the tragedies that were endured. Others like Seroquel or Digitek died out with little or no meaningful compensation to victims.
It is instructive for mass tort lawyers who are bringing class action type claims on behalf of victims to understand both prior successes and failures. Some of these mass torts failed for a reason we can now clearly identify. For some of the drugs that fall into this category, we do an analysis of why that particular piece of litigation failed. Others we just archived over, modifying the page, so victims are not confused about the current status of the litigation.
Drug injury mass torts sometimes fail because the plaintiffs' lawyers jumped the gun and marketed for and brought claims before they attorney properly investigated the claim. When this happens, both the lawyers and the victims lose.
In other cases, the plaintiffs may have had viable claims but the effort was thwarted by changes in the law (most notably with preemption) or juries simply are not able to connect the dots between the defendants' negligence and the injuries that were suffered. This is particularly true when the patient population is at high risk for the very injuries that were complained of in the lawsuits.
Let's also be very honest. Sometimes plaintiffs' lawyers themselves are the problem. There are head-scratching suspect settlements because defendants' lawyers outsmarted the victims lawyers.
How? Often by shopping for favorable settlement terms. Defendants get plaintiffs' attorneys to compete against each other as to who will give the most favorable settlement terms. It is like a bizarro auction where the lowest bidder wins and gets their attorneys' fees first. Another big problem is the way these cases fall into settlement tiers.
Often, the tiers are created with the defendants' and the plaintiffs' attorneys interests in mind. On some level, any settlement tier process is going to be rough justice. Whenever you are looking for a category for a victim instead of trying to narrowly tailor the compensation level to the specific injuries, there are going to be some perils. This is just an inherent weakness with any mass tort settlement. But when you take this structural problem and couple it with parties that are not motivated to do justice, you get real inequities.
There is one more self-serving reason to keep these pages up on our website. Many bad drugs are bad drugs and often a drug that has one side effect that harms patients will later be found to cause yet another side effect that could have been avoided.