Mass Tort

Mass Tort Frequently Asked Questions

At Burg Simpson, we have represented thousands of individuals who have suffered serious side effects after taking prescription medicines, or who have been injured as a result of defective medical devices. Our lawyers have been selected to lead high profile litigation involving some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and have been very successful in winning.

This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on so many factors. Sometimes a settlement can be reached quickly without having to file a lawsuit if the liability is clear and the injuries are undisputed. If a lawsuit must be brought, then settlement will typically be delayed by many months while the parties engage in discovery.

Many times, cases will settle very close to trial, which can be a year or more after the case is filed. If a verdict is rendered in your favor, and a judgment is entered, the Defendant will sometimes pay or settle at that time, but many times the Defendant will appeal the judgment, in which case the ultimate recovery can be delayed by several years while the case proceeds through the appeal process. If you lose at trial, you have the right to appeal.

Again, the process can take several years, and if you win the appeal, you will likely need to go through another trial, and potentially, another appeal. If may be many years until you obtain compensation for your injuries.

There are many, many factors that go into evaluating what any particular claim is worth. Each case is different and it is impossible to provide a specific dollar figure for any claim. No attorney can ever guarantee you will obtain compensation for your claim or that you will receive any certain amount of compensation. That being said, the experienced injury attorneys at Burg Simpson have vast experience in most every kind of dangerous drug and defective medical devices claim. We can provide you with an honest evaluation of your claim and provide you with an assessment of what your claim may be worth.

Some of the factors that can affect a claim’s worth include the nature and extent of the injury, the nature and extent of medical treatment received, the nature and extent of preexisting medical problems, the nature and extent of the liability of each person involved, the ability of the injured person to return to that work, the need for future medical and other life care needs, the location where the injury occurred, and the amount on insurance available, to name a few.

When a person is unable to go back to work because of an injury, it can cause a significant economic loss that can be worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars depending on the job and the remaining work life of the injured individual. For example, a surgeon who can no longer perform as a doctor because of an injury may have many millions of dollars in future lost income over his lifetime. Even a construction worker making $30,000 per year can easily have many hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income. Consider also that the nature of the person's work may greatly impact the value of a claim. An accountant who breaks her leg in a car crash may not have significant lost income, since she can still likely perform her duties as an accountant. But a concert pianist who breaks his hand may be prevented from ever playing piano again. The impact on employment is a significant factor in evaluating a claim’s worth.

Where an injury occurs can be a factor in a claim’s worth. This is because where an injury occurs may be where a lawsuit must be brought. The laws in each state vary, and some states protect their citizens more than others. Some states allow unlimited recovery of “non-economic damages,” like pain and suffering, while some states severely limit the recovery of non-economic damages. The laws in each state regarding negligence, comparative fault, and other liability issues may also affect the value of the claim. For claims that must be clearly brought in one state, the value of the claim may be affected by which county the claim is brought in. Some counties have more conservative jurors, while others are more liberal. As there may be several states–or counties within a state–in which a claim may be brought, it is important to evaluate all of those potential venues before filing a lawsuit.

Most lawsuits end up settling before trial. So statistically the chance that you will actually go to trial is actually quite low. Settlement is an important aspect of any lawsuit and should be considered by you using your attorney’s sound advice. But you have a right to go to trial and a right to have your case heard by a jury. You do not have to settle your case if you think that you are not being offered enough compensation for your injuries. Your attorneys will provide you their legal advice and opinions as to the merits of your case, your chances at trial, and their opinions as to whether a settlement offer should be seriously considered or rejected.

Settlement has the advantage of certainty—you are not relying on a jury to decide the fate of your case. The advantage of taking a case to a jury is the ability to tell your story and to potentially have the jury award you more than what is being offered to settle your claim. Some claims should be settled. Other claims should be taken to a jury. Each case must be evaluated on its own merits in making that decision. Sometimes the defense will refuse to talk settlement, in which case you may have no choice but to take your case to a jury. But generally, whether you settle or take your case to trial is up to you.

You are not required to hire a lawyer. As an individual, you can represent yourself in a court of law. But you must understand that the law can be very confusing. There are many rules applicable to court proceedings. Many laws and rules, if not complied with, can result in your case being barred or dismissed. A lawyer is trained to analyze laws and rules and will advise you concerning the upsides and downsides to actions that may affect your legal rights. Your lawyer's job is protection of your legal rights.

Also, a lawyer trained and experienced in negotiation is likely to obtain a much better settlement than if you were to try to settle a case on your own. And many times a defendant or insurance company will not do anything at all until a lawyer is threatening them or their insured with a lawsuit. Your case may essentially be worth nothing until you actually hire a lawyer who can stand up for your rights.

And should you have to go to trial, a good lawyer is a necessity. Trial and pretrial procedures are vast and complex; someone who is not familiar with all of them is likely to trip up and lose rights and opportunities to present their best case to a jury. A lawyer knows the system, knows the judges, and knows how to present a case to a jury.

No. We offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation to those who have been injured by a drug or dangerous device. If necessary, we will obtain your medical records and we will conduct the review necessary to determine whether or not we can help you.

Our mass tort fee agreements are done on a contingency fee basis. This means that our fee is determined as a percentage of your recovery. We only receive a fee for our work if we obtain a recovery for you.

If you do not receive a recovery, then you owe us nothing. If you decide to hire us to pursue your claim, all of this will be explained in a written fee agreement.

We advance the money for all litigation costs associated with pursuing your claim (such as filing fees, medical records retrieval, and expert costs). We receive reimbursement for these costs out of any recovery. If you do not receive a recovery, then you owe us nothing.

Yes. Some of our senior shareholders have been appointed to lead national litigation against several drug and device manufacturing companies.

We have the combination of powerful resources and the reputation and expertise to give you a great chance for a successful outcome.

The Trial Lawyer Magazine honors Michael Burg; firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine

 February 6, 2017

The Trial Lawyer Magazine honors Michael Burg; firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine

Michael S. Burg Named One of America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine Named One of America’s 25 Most Influential Law Firms The Trial Lawyer magazine honorees to be celebrated at The National Trial Lawyers’ annual summit Denver, CO – Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, PC is proud to… Read more »

7 Burg Simpson Shareholders Named to 2017 Top Lawyers List

 January 23, 2017

7 Burg Simpson Shareholders Named to 2017 Top Lawyers List

Denver, Colorado – Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is pleased to announce that seven shareholders have recently been named to 5280 Magazine’s 2017 Top Lawyers list. Founded in 1993, 5280 is the largest local magazine in Colorado. The Burg Simpson attorneys selected for inclusion in 5280 Top Lawyers are: Michael S. Burg –… Read more »

2016: Another Year Burg Simpson Changed Lives

 December 8, 2016

2016: Another Year Burg Simpson Changed Lives

The Burg Simpson attorneys had another outstanding year changing the lives of those they represent. The firm’s ability to properly value cases—whether personal injury, medical malpractice, construction defect, or mass tort—and fight tirelessly as a cohesive team to obtain the compensation its clients deserve sets Burg Simpson apart. Here is just a small sample of… Read more »

Janet Abaray Profiled in Super Lawyers Magazine

 December 7, 2016

Janet Abaray Profiled in Super Lawyers Magazine

The most recent edition of Super Lawyers Magazine features a profile on Burg Simpson Ohio’s managing shareholder, Janet Abaray. In the feature, Ms. Abaray discusses some of the highlights of her career, the art of “looking around corners” in a case, taking on big pharma, and a well-known class action against the Bengals. Amongst her… Read more »

Recall Alert: Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder Recalled by Zimmer Biomet

 February 17, 2017

Recall Alert: Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder Recalled by Zimmer Biomet

Zimmer Biomet has issued a Class I Recall of its Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder due to higher than reported fracture rates.  Zimmer Biomet issued the recall on December 15, 2016.  The Zimmer recall includes thousands of Comprehensive Reverse Shoulders.  The recalled devices were distributed between October 2008 and September 2015.  As part of the shoulder recall,… Read more »

Mike Burg Holds First Book Signing for Trial by Fire at Tattered Cover

 August 18, 2016

Mike Burg Holds First Book Signing for Trial by Fire at Tattered Cover

Last month at the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado, a crowd of over 100 were treated to an evening with Burg Simpson attorney and author, Mike Burg. Speaking about his new book, Trial By Fire: One Man’s Battle to End Corporate Greed and Save Lives, Mike discussed his childhood and his motivations that… Read more »

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer?

 August 12, 2016

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer?

Many cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed each year may have been caused by the regular use of talcum powder. Talc is a mineral made up of silicon, magnesium and oxygen. Because of its unique ability to absorb moisture, talc is common ingredient in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other household products… Read more »

Contaminated Olympus Endoscope Lead to Outbreak of Fatal Bacterial Infections

 July 28, 2016

Contaminated Olympus Endoscope Lead to Outbreak of Fatal Bacterial Infections

Olympus’ Surgical Scope Exposes Patients to Risk of Infection Medical device manufacturer Olympus Medical Systems Corp. (Olympus) is under investigation because its surgical device has been linked to serious infections, including some strains of drug-resistant bacteria known as “superbugs.” Olympus manufactures and sells a device called a duodenoscope that is used in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography… Read more »

Ring of Fire: Even Republicans Are Disgusted by The Republican Party

 May 3, 2016

Ring of Fire: Even Republicans Are Disgusted by The Republican Party

A Ring of Fire first! Host Farron Cousins talks to former Senator Alan Simpson in a unique opportunity on Ring of Fire to speak with a Republican about the current state of the Republican Party.

CBS 4: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

 April 28, 2016

CBS 4: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

CBS 4 in Denver highlights Burg Simpson attorney Michael S. Burg’s induction into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Radio 850KOA: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

 April 28, 2016

Radio 850KOA: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Denver’s Radio 850KOA ran a news story about Michael Burg’s induction into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

Burg Simpson Legal Minute: Civil Justice System

 April 21, 2016

Burg Simpson Legal Minute: Civil Justice System

Burg Simpson shareholder Calvin Tregre Jr. examines changes to the civil justice system, where limitations have been placed on monetary awards to seriously injured victims of corporate negligence. Are you protected?

Trial Talk magazine

 November 18, 2015

Trial Talk: Cross Appeal? Now What?

Burg Simpson Attorney and Shareholder Diane Vaksdal Smith’s article, published in CTLA’s Trial Talk, April/May 2015, addresses specifics of appellate practice and procedure. Download full article PDF

Net Neutrality

 November 18, 2015

Net Neutrality: A Panel Discussion

Rick D. Bailey contributes his opinion on Net Neutrality in this panel article published in Best Lawyers® Business Edition, Summer, 2015. Download full article PDF

The Trial Lawyer Magazine

 November 18, 2015

Homebuilders v. Homeowners

Threats to Shift an Already Tilted Playing Field More in Favor of Homebuilders Burg Simpson attorneys Jennifer A. Seidman and Ronald M. Sandgrund examine what could happen if lawmakers allow builders to take advantage of and mischaracterize the causes of the Great Recession’s lingering effects, and the facts regarding the real causes of the decline… Read more »

Rick Bailey - Hearing and Mishearing

 November 18, 2015

Hearing and Mishearing: Psychoanalytic Observations on the Attorney-Client Relationship

Trial lawyer Rick D. Bailey co-authored this white paper with David Stevens, a practicing psychoanalyst/clinical psychologist and associate professor at the university of Colorado Health Sciences Center. They address the attorney-client relationship throught the lens of psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience. Download full article PDF

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