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Study Aims to Gauge Litigant Satisfaction

I spoke with reporter Max Mitchell about the new project I've been working on--a survey to gauge plaintiffs' satisfaction (or not) in women's health mass torts like pelvic mesh, talc, Yasmin/Yaz, Mirena (I could go on...).

Here are a few of the highlights from his article:

The last major study done on procedural justice was conducted by RAND in 1989, and it was conducted on civil litigants in non-mass tort cases. Much has changed in the ensuing years, particularly in mass litigation. There's been a rise in multidistrict litigation, changes in the plaintiffs' bar, and the introduction to third-party financing, just to name a few.

How have those changes affected the way plaintiffs feel about the litigation process? Are they happy with their attorneys? Is third-party financing a godsend or a menace? And what about court procedures--how do plaintiffs feel about being part of an MDL?

Mitchell asked me about whether I thought litigant satisfaction had changed over the years, and I explained that it's impossible to know: we have no baseline for mass torts. This study is a beginning.

I think of it a bit like a "customer satisfaction" survey. The survey is designed to change with participants responses. So, for instance, if a participant had no third-party funding, it wouldn't ask about those experiences. And if a participant's case is still ongoing, it doesn't ask about settlement or trial.

Thus far, I've gotten a number of fair questions about who I am, who I work for, and who I'm aligned with. The short answer to all of those questions is that I'm a completely independent academic researcher who isn't affiliated with anyone accept The University of Georgia--my academic institution. I don't work for either side, I don't have clients, and I'm not in any way affiliated with the lawyers or corporations on either side.

I've been writing about these issues for many years now, and you can find all of my publications on this site under "Research." Questions? Just ask me. There's also a FAQ page.


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