The situation: A representative from the executive steering committee for an MDL involving a surgically implanted medical device needed to uniformly and efficiently evaluate and score data provided by myriad law firms. These firms represented a very large number of claimants and the data on the claims was needed to assess offers received from the defendant in the course of negotiating a global settlement. This data included claimants’ docket information, DOBs, filing dates, state of residence, and descriptions about the specific version of the device. The data also included detailed information about the specific nature of each of their cases, such as:
- All device failures experienced by the claimant
- The nature of any revision surgeries or treatments required
- Any comorbidities that had to be taken into consideration
Not only was the data extensive and detailed, but each of the law firms representing claimants had presented and categorized their information differently from one another.
The assignment: Given the nature and complexity of this data, the committee asked Verus for assistance in delivering a solution that addressed three key priorities:
- Standardize the way the data is presented across a large number of categories and assign rankings to each claimant’s case in terms of its severity and outcomes;
- Assist in translating the data into appropriate compensation amounts based on those rankings;
- Assign control to the client (someone on the plaintiff steering committee) for interactive updates of the data during settlement negotiations. Doing so would enable ALL the lawyers negotiating settlements within this MDL now and in the future to evaluate the defense counsel’s offers based on the standardized data, and allow for some flexibility over the evaluation of the data.
The challenges: Not only was the data from the law firms involved presented differently from each other, but also the deadline to deliver the dashboard was within a single business day in preparation for a meeting between the executive steering committee and the defense.
The solution: A powerful data-driven dashboard. Verus cleaned, standardized, categorized and scored the thousands of data points provided by the law firms and built a point system based on different parameters such as levels of injury, device type, and age of the claimant when the device was placed. By assigning a dollar amount to all the combinations reflected in the case data, it delivered potential settlement totals and an average value per case. The point system was flexible to allow plaintiffs’ counsel to adjust and rescore each variable through an easy-to-use form and requiring a single click to recalculate settlement values for the entire population of claims. This tool put them in a renewed position of strength when negotiating with defense counsel.