Obtaining Joy’s Signature

Sometimes a client may be unresponsive because they are in an unique life situation. However, we are experts at locating them. Here is one of many examples where we have been successful in times of complexity.

Joy was not responding to the law firm’s letters and they were not able to find any new addresses.  We did find a new address and a phone number.  We left several voice messages and sent a FedEx letter, but there was no response.  We sent a messenger and there was no answer at the door.  We contacted the management company and some neighbors at her very large apartment complex, but no one was able to give us any information.  We kept on calling morning, noon, night, and weekends.

Finally, during one of our many calls, a man answered the phone.  He identified himself as Frank, Joy’s boyfriend.  He said Joy was in the hospital and he just happened to be at her house to feed her pets, but Joy did not want anyone to know why she was in the hospital.  He had heard all our messages so he knew that we had to have the settlement signed by Joy right away or she would lose her money.

 Frank said he would take the documents to the hospital for Joy to sign.  Frank gave us his address for us to FedEx the documents and his cell number.  We pressured him little more and then Frank revealed that Joy was in a burn unit.


Before we sent the FedEx, we checked the address Frank gave us and the phone number.  Both belonged to a Maria Cabrera.  We traced Maria’s landline.  Under guise of having a job for Maria, her teenage son told us that Maria had just been arrested, Frank was Maria’s boyfriend, and that Joy was a disabled woman who hired Maria to help her with house chores.  Frank lied!!!


Joy lived at the edge of Los Angeles County, so we called every burn unit at every hospital in the tri-county area until we found her.


The hospital informed us that we were not allowed to talk to her because she was under the protection of ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES (APS).  Against policy, a nurse informed us that Joy was very badly burned under suspicious circumstances and Frank and Maria had visited Joy many times at the hospital and were making her sign all kinds of documents.  APS had ordered no more visitors, let alone signatures of any kind.  The nurse did allow us to speak to Joy because the next morning she would be going through an operation that would leave her incommunicado for 2 weeks and absolutely no visitors for fear of infection.


We spoke to Joy, who was in a lot of pain.  Joy told us her only family member was a sister who she had not spoken to for more than 15 years.  APS did not want to help us in any way, even though they called the law firm to confirm that our purposes were legitimate.  They, too, were looking for her sister.

When we found Joy’s sister, she immediately contacted the firm, became her sister’s representative, and signed the settlement.  Our job was done.

Conquering Roadblocks since 1986

 We have been obtaining proofs for mass torts since 1986.  At first glance it sounds like an easy proposition to do it in-house, but in reality it can be a little more complicated:  doctors retire, move, or die and take their records; clinics and hospitals are bought by other entities or they shut down; pharmacies close down or are also bought by other companies.  Sometimes they keep the records, and sometimes they send them to other storage facilities; and that’s not even including good old hospital bureaucracy and clerk’s power trips!   I can list hundreds of examples of how easily a simple task like obtaining records can turn into a very complicated task and take an obscene amount of time.

Our firm has many more resources at its fingertips.  If a doctor retired, we will find his home; if a clinic or hospital no longer exists, we have databases and experts at using them to figure out who is now responsible. Hospital bureaucracy?  We will contact the clinic owner or hospital director at home if needed.

And to conquer the good old-fashioned bureaucracy?

We have a call center for our records department that starts at 6AM PST/9AM EST and stops at 5PM PST, covering business hours for all states in the U.S.  We will also call every couple of days to follow up and make sure they understand the urgency in obtaining the medical records within a reasonable amount of time.

Most importantly, it will not cost your firm a penny because it is an expense, just like the price of copying the records is an expense.

Below I will list a few of the roadblocks we have encountered.

We had a doctor who wrote a letter that stated he never prescribed Zyprexa.  We then found the owner of a small pharmacy that had closed, and he produced the records showing that the same doctor had prescribed Zyprexa for 2 years!  Sometimes, doctors are afraid of liability.

The law firm had requested full records from a hospital, but it didn’t show the drug in question being prescribed; the client swore the hospital gave it to her.  We called the hospital supervisor and explained the situation. They checked again and found that they had not included the prescription documents because they were in another department.

There was a doctor who retired and took his records with him.  We found him in another state, living in a cabin. We convinced him to go through his records in his attic and he gave them to us.

Many records were lost in Katrina. We went through great lengths to find doctors, and we found some of them in a different state. After learning about our arduous efforts to locate them, they were willing to sign affidavits based on memory alone.

Let us help you get the most out of your advertisement dollar and settlement negotiations.  We find them, contact them, and reason with them to return the documents you need.

Right Address, No Response? We Can Find Them.

Don’t wait one more day!  Let us get that money for you ASAP!

Below is a perfect example of having the right address and number with no response.  We located not just the client, but the correct person to sign the release!

We skip traced the client and he was living at the same address the firm had on file. The phone number was ringing at that address, but there was no answer and no voice mail.  We also found his brother, but he claimed they had not spoken to each other in more than 40 years.   We sent a notary in the evening, but there was no answer and lots of mail in the mailbox.  We obtained numerous of phone numbers from neighbors and convinced one neighbor to go at 6AM and 11PM to knock at the house and to leave notes on the door with no success.

The neighbor told us the client lived with a daughter who had been in and out of rehab facilities.  We called every rehab facility in the area until we found her.  To our dismay, she was in a detox center, incommunicado.  We spoke to more than 7 people at that facility until finally we were able to convince someone there to give us the name of the relative listed in her file.  Of course, there was no phone or address, just the name. The listed relative turned out to be her sister, daughter of the client, with a completely different last name that was not showing on any database.   We also found out that the client, in his 80s, had a stroke, but no one knew where he lived.

We finally found the address of the second daughter in NY.  We sent the documents and an explanation via FedEx; her husband signed but they still didn’t call.  We had to skip trace and find the phone number of their landlord and then convince the landlord the importance of going to see her and having her call us.  

Then the daughter called.  Her father was in a rehab facility, but she had power of attorney. She signed the documents and FedExed them along with the power of attorney.


The daughter had no idea that her father had signed up for a lawsuit.  She, of course, did not care if our expenses came out of the father’s settlement.  She was very grateful we even found her and very eager to help once she understood the situation.

What’s Happened This Week? March 15, 2021

SERVICE MEMBERS SEEK HEARING ON 3M EARPLUG SITE
Service members and veterans on Friday told the Florida federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation over allegedly defective 3M earplugs that the multinational company posted a website about the product that could sway potential jurors.
The service members requested a hearing on the issue, saying 3M apparently paid to have the link to www.3mearplugfacts.com show up at the top of web searches for “Combat Arms Ear Plugs” and “earplugs websites.”  Because this version of the earplugs was discontinued in 2015, there’s no doubt the website is “entirely litigation driven,” the service members said.
About 220,000 service members and veterans say 3M Co. and a predecessor, Aearo LLC, supplied CAEv2 earplugs that were defective and didn’t protect against service-related tinnitus and hearing loss. They claim the earplugs were defective and didn’t come with full and honest warnings.
The service members said 3M’s website makes arguments that the judge has barred, such as the military was closely involved with the earplug’s design and testing and that it met with all of the military’s specifications.
U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers issued an order in response to directing 3M to respond to the motion by noon Saturday.
Law360: https://www.law360.com/articles/1366822/service-members-seek-hearing-on-3m-earplug-site

EXPERTS BARRED FROM TESTIFYING IN 3M EARPLUG MDL
A Florida federal judge on Saturday barred two experts for 3M from testifying about the U.S. Army’s hearing program in multidistrict litigation over allegedly defective earplugs, finding that their testimony was based on speculation and hearsay.
Around 220,000 service members and veterans say 3M Co. and a predecessor, Aearo LLC, supplied Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 earplugs that were defective and didn’t protect against service-related tinnitus and hearing loss.
They additionally claim the earplugs didn’t come with full and honest warnings and say they received the earplugs during their military service, had their hearing measured through military-issue audiograms and were injured during their military training.
U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers said that industrial hygienists Dr. Richard Neitzel and Jennifer Sahmel will not be allowed to testify about the Army’s implementation of its hearing programs, as their opinions are almost totally drawn from anecdotes. Specifically, neither will be allowed to testify about the Army’s implementation of its hearing program or its efficacy.  Judge Rodgers found that Neitzel and Sahmel failed to take into account changes the Army made to its hearing program, which rendered their opinions and testimony unreliable.
Despite this, 3M claims they are confident in its case and is ready to defend itself at trial.
Law360: https://www.law360.com/productliability/articles/1364990/experts-barred-from-testifying-in-3m-earplug-mdl

REAL WATER INC. SUED OVER LIVER DAMAGE AMID FDA PROBE
 Nevada parents sued Real Water Inc. alleging they and their child suffered liver damage from drinking the company’s bottled alkaline water, filing the same day that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched an investigation into hepatitis reports linked to the water.
The Wren family said that in August, Christopher B. Wren was hospitalized and became a candidate for immediate liver transplant, according to a suit filed Tuesday in Nevada state court. That day the FDA also announced its probe into Real Water brand alkaline water after receiving reports of five cases of acute non-viral hepatitis.
All five patients, which include adults and children, drank the water.
Real Water Inc. uses inexpensive and safe alkaline water supplied by the Southern Nevada Water Authority that it treats and processes for consumers at a premium price
The water’s labeling makes scientific and health claims to make it stand out from its competition and to command a premium price from health-conscious consumers.
The Wrens allege failure to warn and negligence claims, as well as violations of the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Law 360: https://www.law360.com/productliability/articles/1365994/bottled-water-co-sued-over-liver-damage-amid-fda-probe

CONSUMERS WANT TO COORDINATE TOXIC METALS BABY FOOD SUITS

We track down your clients and obtain their signatures.

A group of consumers accusing a long list of baby food manufacturers like Gerber Products Co., Campbell Soup Co. and Walmart Inc. of selling baby foods containing high levels of toxic heavy metals want more than 40 similar suits coordinated in New York federal court, according to a motion filed Tuesday.


The consumers allege that they purchased baby foods — like oatmeal and rice cereals, purees and snacks — from manufacturers including Beech-Nut Nutrition Co., Hain Celestial Group Inc., Northern Castle Partners, Nurture Inc. and Plum PBC. They said they were “horrified to learn” that the companies knowingly sold products containing high levels of inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.


The companies label their food as being healthy and nutritious for babies, and not containing any harmful ingredients or chemicals, the consumers alleged.
Many of the suits rely heavily on a report issued by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy in February that concluded seven major baby food manufacturers allow high levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury to make it into finished foods.


The consumers are seeking damages and injunctive relief in their various suits, which are pending in 12 separate district courts.
The suit said by not attaching a warning label, Urban violated California’s Proposition 65 — also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 — which underwent a standards overhaul in 2018 that tightened measures and brought forth a variety of enforcement suits.


Consumer Protection Group, the entity that filed the suit, called itself a “private attorney general” opening the suit for public interest. The group said in its Wednesday complaint that the binder-style planner in question contains carcinogens Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, and Diisononyl phthalate, or DINP, and claims the fashion company has “knowingly and intentionally” exposed consumers to these chemicals since August 2016. They asked the court to make Urban put Proposition 65 warning labels on the journal for future sales, penalize the company up to $2,500 per day for its alleged violation and make it pay the suit’s costs.

Link: https://www.law360.com/productliability/articles/1361694/urban-outfitters-knowingly-sold-toxic-journals-suit-says

We can find any client…

Clients may be unresponsive for a variety of reasons: illness, Alzheimer’s, moving locations, multiple addresses, etc. We can find them all.
Here is an example from the recent Roundup settlements. We received this email yesterday from an unresponsive client’s daughter:


“Your attempts to reach my mother were actually {helpful} because when we finally got ahold of her, we found her care taker was neglecting her needs. (Long story here)
At any rate, we had her removed to the hospital and are now in the process of placing her in long term care.
My mother has been deemed “cognitively impaired” (pending dementia diagnosis with a neurologist).
To that end, she is not in a state of mind where she should sign any legal documents.”


The people we are looking for are ill and need help. The email above shows exactly why we are in business and what our role is.

We go far to find your clients

Gaining clients is very expensive and losing them just because they are unresponsive is wasteful and painful. Don’t let them slip through your hands!
Our job is to locate your unresponsive clients and make sure you get the most return on your investment. We will locate your clients to:

  1. Sign your firm’s retainers.
  2. Locate non-responsive clients
  3. Have them sign the release on settlements.

We persist, even in the most challenging circumstances. Here is one out of 40 cases about our difficult but successful pursuit during the 2011 Avandia settlement.


In 2011, GlaxoSmithKline set aside $3.4 billion to settle over its Type 2 diabetes drug, Avandia. Patients who took the drug blame the manufacturer for not warning them that Avandia increased the risk of heart attacks and cardiac death.


Our client, a law firm, had a portion of the settlement, but they needed at least 200 clients who were diagnosed with myocardial infarction (MI) or heart attack as a proof of use of Avandia. The firm had about 140 MI cases, so they needed a minimum of 60 people.


The law firm’s attempts of finding certain records for their cases posed a variety of different barriers: for some cases, the medical records were in, but they did not prove that the patient had MI; some cases did not have the right documents from the right health care providers; the records could not be obtained because the doctor was retired or the pharmacy permanently closed; and some clients were completely unresponsive.


Despite these barriers, were able to track down these clients and complete the required 60 people minimum, with an additional of five more people. We also finished the additional cases that proved heart related injuries (though those with other heart injuries may receive less than those with MI, the victim could still receive a handsome amount).


One of our toughest MI cases was that of Mr. Theler (name changed to protect identity) of Alabama.


According to the records, the address listed for Mr. Theler was correct, but no one responded from that address. According to a neighbor, Mr. Theler owned the house, but it had been abandoned for months. We were still unable to locate the client or any family member. We did learn that he had been married several times, but as far as we found, he did not have any children. We were able to track down his latest wife and tried to contact her, but she never returned our calls. According to her neighbors, the woman lived alone so no one could answer the calls for her.


After more research, another neighbor told us that Mr. Theler’s last wife shot him on New Year’s Eve and they last saw him riding in an ambulance. We contacted serval police personnel in that jurisdiction until we found a detective who was involved in the case and willing to talk to us. The detective gave us the name of the hospital where our subject passed away. There were two challenges presented that made this discovery a difficult one: one, the case was too recent to be in local databases; and two, it turned out the subject lived in Alabama but died at a Navy hospital in Florida.


The settlement deadline was fast approaching. The hospital was unable to give us any records and going through official channels may push us past it. We finally convinced a clerk to go through the records and give us the name of the person who signed the death certificate. We then contacted all people in Alabama and Florida with the same name as the death certificate signer.


We finally found Mr. Theler’s only next of kin! He was the son of our subject’s third wife, and our subject had adopted him more than 30 years ago! Despite this, the son had no information on any of the doctors or clinics his father may have visite throughout his life. He did, however, obtain the death certificate. According to the death certificate, his cause of death was a heart attack. This gave us the Proof of Injury, but there were no records of Avandia use. This pushed us a step back.

We were finally able to find the woman who shot him. She was not in jail because the shooting did not cause his death—it was cardiac arrest that took his life. We convinced her to give us the name of the Alabama doctor that originally prescribed Mr. Theler Avandia. We finally contacted that doctor, and with that doctor’s records, finally received a proof of use!


Not all cases are this difficult. However, we are willing to go far to get your cases settled, and this is one of many stories that illustrates our dedication.

ROUNDUP CLAIMANTS SLAM ‘FRANKENSTEIN-IAN’ $2B BAYER DEAL

Hundreds of attorneys and several consumer and legal advocacy organizations on Friday joined dozens of putative class members in the Roundup product liability case in urging a California federal judge not to approve a proposed $2 billion deal to settle claims that the weedkiller causes cancer, saying the “anemic” settlement benefits Monsanto and its parent company Bayer AG more than sick plaintiffs. 

The proposed $2 billion class settlement follows last June’s separate announcement that Bayer would pay $9.6 billion to resolve most of the approximately 125,000 claims in the sprawling multidistrict litigation that the chemical glyphosate in the weedkiller Roundup made by Monsanto causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. 

On Friday, 93 law firms and 167 lawyers collectively asked the court for permission to file an amici curiae brief opposing the proposed deal. Similar briefs from legal advocacy organizations Public Justice and American Association for Justice and consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen Foundation were also filed on Friday. They followed nine filings from proposed class members on Wednesday and Thursday, asking the judge not to give the deal the green light because it doesn’t benefit the landscapers, groundskeepers and homeowners who now suffer from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


The 167 attorneys said the deal must be killed because it stays all litigation for four years and prohibits class members from seeking punitive damages forever but allows Monsanto to keep selling Roundup. Monsanto and Bayer assert that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer, and they have not stopped selling it. Plaintiffs want a warning label on the product about a risk of cancer, but Monsanto states the EPA has found that exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, does not cause cancer in humans and no cancer warning is appropriate.

Law360: https://www.law360.com/productliability/articles/1361861/roundup-claimants-slam-frankenstein-ian-2b-bayer-deal

ATTYS SEEK TO DELAY $2B ROUNDUP DEAL HEARING

We track down your missing clients and obtain their signatures.

Counsel for the proposed class of future Roundup claimants and Bayer AG’s Monsanto on Sunday asked a California federal judge to push back a hearing on a $2 billion settlement offer to May so they have more time to address recent objections to the deal.

The attorneys for the proposed class said that nine objections, along with four amicus briefs, were filed over the $2 billion deal to resolve potential future claims that the weedkiller causes cancer. In hundreds of pages, the objectors bring up numerous issues, such as attacks on the deal’s fairness and a proposed science advisory panel, the counsel said. Given the time needed to address and respond to these issues, attorneys for the proposed class asked a settlement hearing to be moved from March 31 to May 13, or any other appropriate date.

The $2 billion deal exclusively covers consumers who have not yet filed suit.

Monsanto isn’t stopping the sale of Roundup, or changing its makeup, so thousands of people will continue to risk getting cancer from Roundup after Feb. 3, 2021, the filings argued.

Monsanto and Bayer assert that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer, and they have not stopped selling it. Plaintiffs want a warning label on the product about a risk of cancer, but Monsanto states the Environmental Protection Agency has found that exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, does not cause cancer in humans and no cancer warning is appropriate.

Law360: https://www.law360.com/productliability/articles/1362453/attys-seek-to-delay-2b-roundup-deal-hearing-

J&J AIMS TO SINK $117M TALC VERDICTS WITH ‘SEISMIC’ IMPACT

J&J AIMS TO SINK $117M TALC VERDICTS WITH ‘SEISMIC’ IMPACT

Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America called on a New Jersey state appeals court Tuesday to erase verdicts totaling $117 million in damages over claims J&J products contained asbestos and caused a man’s mesothelioma, with the pharmaceutical giant saying the decisions carried “seismic ramifications” for the state court system.

Nearly three years after jurors handed those victories to Stephen Lanzo III and his wife, J&J and Imerys attorneys urged the panel during a remote hearing to toss the verdicts over an array of alleged problems at the trial.

In April 2018,  jurors found that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. products, including its baby powder, contained asbestos, and that Lanzo’s exposure to the toxic mineral in the products between 1972 and 2003 played a substantial role in his contracting mesothelioma.

The jury awarded compensatory damages of $30 million to Lanzo and $7 million to his wife, Kendra, also a plaintiff in the case. JJCI was ascribed 70% of the blame and Imerys was given 30%. Imerys supplied talc to J&J during part of the period in question.

About a week later, the jury awarded $55 million in punitive damages against JJCI and $25 million against Imerys after finding that the companies acted in wanton and willful disregard of the Lanzos’ rights.

The current Tuesday decision could “…. set the rules for fairness for hundreds of cases already filed in New Jersey.”

Law 360: https://www.law360.com/productliability/articles/1362833/j-j-aims-to-sink-117m-talc-verdicts-with-seismic-impact