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.