REJECT AstraZeneca’s Disgraceful Seroquel Settlement Offer – Demand Justice, Fairness, & Accountability
After a couple of days of digesting this Seroquel settlement offer made by Weitz & Luxenberg (which we can safely assume is a comparable reflection of for better or much worse what other injured seroquel litigant victims will be receiving in short order from other various law firms across the country). I believe this would be a good time as any to start breaking this offer down piece by piece from a the injured parties perspective (since "WE KNOW" it’s the actual victims of these corporate crimes who’s voices are seldom heard or reflected in mainstream media reports regarding huge tort litigation). I will choose to use a the style of inserting opinion & commentary within the actual document using a different color *RED* & Italic font for this series of post.
Before we delve into the meat of this document; I would just write/state that I personally believe this settlement mirrors with great clarity everything that is wrong with our legal system in United States of Corptopian America today. The legal profession has (or least should have) an ethical, professional, legal, and moral responsibility to serve their clients “best interest” first and foremost when representing their actions taken against corporate malfeasance & crimes in these civil proceedings. If we didn’t know better, this offer document reads very much like it was written by AstraZeneca and their billion dollar legal dream team, instead of the plaintiff Attorney’s.
Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.'s Bad AstraZeneca Seroquel Settlement Agreement Offer Commentary - Part 3
Where we left off in Part 2
Shall we also keep confidential that W&L’s share will be over 30 million of the 92.25 million stored away in the AstraZeneca bank. I mean this is all “secret backroom dealings”…we don’t want anyone to know how were selling our clients down the river. It’s absolutely paramount that no one sees how badly we screw over innocent injured citizens in America. We surely don’t want the public to know what a complete sham & corrupted joke the legal system has become. The guilty criminals go free held to no accountability, the lawyers get richer, and plaintiffs? You can plainly see what they get.....
A settlement of this type is called an "Aggregate Settlement" where a fair and reasonable sum of money is obtained to resolve multiple cases. In order to maintain proper representation of each individual client, W &L is NOT involved in the allocation decision making, which will be handled exclusively by Judge Corodemus. W &L has reviewed the general framework of the settlement plan with Judge Corodemus and we strongly believe that it is fair and reasonable and offers each of our clients the best possible outcome under the circumstances of this litigation.
Track I offers the Seroquel claimant a settlement of $12,000. This track involves a simple review of each case and will result in a quick approval by Judge Corodemus without an analysis of the specific details of the case such as injury, amount of Seroquel taken, how close the last Seroquel use was to the date of the injury or the individual claimant's risk factors.
a) Cannot prove that they suffered diabetes or a diabetes related condition, and/or
b) Cannot prove that they used Seroquel within 1 year of their claimed injury, and/or
c) Had a large number of known risk factors for diabetes before they started taking Seroquel.
For example - obesity, family history, smoking, etc.
Therefore, all cases whose injuries are limited to weight gain or high blood sugar and whose medical records will confirm that they were never diagnosed with diabetes or pancreatitis, should choose Track 1. Similarly, any claimed injury that occurred long after the last use of Seroquel should also choose Track 1. These cases are likely to receive a small award in Track II (likely less than $12,000) because it is extremely difficult to prove that these injuries were caused by Seroquel. Therefore, we suggest that if your case falls into this category you should choose Track 1. Additionally, payment of Track I settlement awards will be processed first once AstaZeneca waives its "walk away right". (See Section IV(C) below)
OKAY; Not so nice slight of hand trick W&L is trying to pull over on injured parties here. This is basically saying; if you have no case or cannot show you were prescribed, took, or suffered any diagnosed adverse medical condition related to the ingestion of the drug seroquel; W&L will fast track a claim for 12 thousand dollars minus deductions, while turning a blind eye to the relative facts. This is paramount to rewarding claims that may have no basis in evidence or fact to the detriment of those cases that actually can show prescribed use of seroquel & resulting diagnosed medical conditions which would include diabetes and related conditions.
Of course it appears W&L as we can already mysteriously determine, never took the steps to vet litigants before agreeing to representation. I would gather as I guess in non legal terms; this is referred to as "stacking the deck" with loads of claims that will be quick and eager to settle for what ever they are offered in settlement terms; making it much easier for W&L to meet the settlement acceptance threshold to kick legitimate claims and injured litigants to the curb so to speak when they refuse to go along with an unfair and ridiculous settlement offer as it relates to seroquel and the subsequent serious medical harm caused by the ingestion of this drug.
This settlement is simply a cost saving measure employed by AstraZeneca & W&L to save them from further litigation cost related to taking thousands of cases to trial.
This settlement is simply a cost saving measure employed by AstraZeneca & W&L to save them from further litigation cost related to taking thousands of cases to trial.
Let us use Howard Nations Law Firm's answers related to questions about the Seroquel Litigation directed toward their clients; which is a good example of why this slight of hand maneuvering by W&L is at best questionable, misleading, and at worst possibly can not hold up under further legal scrutiny.
“The Seroquel claims have been settled based on AstraZeneca’s costs of continuing to defend these cases rather than the nature and extent of claimants’ injuries. There is no proper legal basis to offer any claimant more or less than another claimant. All claimants are being offered the same amount.”
The key here that must be looked at, debated, considered, and placed under intense scrutiny is that AstraZeneca still makes no admission or do they recognize that Seroquel caused the conditions that are being taken on completely different settlement tracks in this W&L offer sheet. Talk about attempting to pull off a slick Catch 22 scenario on your own clients.
Track II involves an in-depth review of the severity of the injury, the claimed use of Seroquel and its proximity to the injury as well the available proof found in the contemporaneous medical records. Additionally, Judge Corodemus will strongly consider many known risk factors for these injuries including but not limited to smoking, obesity and family history as well as the participation in the Zyprexa settlement for these same injuries. This model is very similar to the one used in the National Vioxx Settlement Program as well as dozens of other similar settlement programs which were successfully resolved in recent years. Judge Corodemus has established a points system and will consider all of the critical issues including but not limited to:
- Nature of the injury
- Severity of the injury
- Age at the time of injury
- Proximity of Seroquel use to the claimed injury
- Changes in the Seroque11abel
- Risk Factors including Smoking, Body Mass Index, etc.
After carefully reviewing all of the medical records and the individual fact sheet, Judge Corodemus will assign a point value to each case. The more points a case is awarded based on the specific facts of the case, the larger the settlement will be. At this time, there is no way to predict with accuracy how many points an individual case may be awarded and it is even more difficult to determine how much money each point will receive. The exact value of each point will depend on the number of participants in Track II and the total number of points assigned. All cases in Track II will be eligible for a settlement award but Judge Corodemus could award LESS than $12,000 (what people will receive automatically by choosing Track 1) if the case lacks merit. In the interest of fairness, Judge Corodemus has committed to review each case in Track II very carefully and this process will take time to complete. Judge Corodemus has stated that she hopes to have this process completed by the end of 2011 but please be warned that it could take a little longer due to the amount of work that is involved. However, in order to get this settlement process moving forward and ultimately paid you must send us your signed Release form as soon as possible.
If you choose Track I your settlement award of $12,000 is set. If you choose Track II, Judge Corodemus will review your claim and will issue an award. We expect that we will contact you in approximately November 2011 and notify you of your point award and the expected amount of your settlement. At that point, you will be given a choice to accept your award, appeal your award or withdraw from the settlement program. If you accept, we will forward your release to AstraZeneca for their review and approval. Please understand that this settlement is not official until we send AstraZeneca your signed Release Form, AstraZeneca approves it AND AstraZeneca waives its walk away right. In the interest of time, we are asking you to return your signed Release Form now so we can meet the tight deadlines associated with this settlement. If you are unhappy with your allocation amount and/or believe that your case involves "Extraordinary Injury or Circumstances" you have the right to appeal your award. Upon receipt of such an application, Judge Corodemus will re-review your records and make a final decision. Please be aware that there is no additional right of appeal (to Judge Corodemus or to any Court) once this final decision is made. If you decide to decline the settlement amount offered to you, you must notify us within ten days of your receipt of your allocation amount and your signed Release Form will no longer be valid.
As in all settlements of this type, our agreement with the defendant depends on nearly full participation from all of our clients. Under the terms of our agreement, we must provide Qualifying Materials (Release Form and/or Dismissal) for 2,260 of our clients. Once we reach this number, AstraZeneca's "walk away right" is officially waived. We strongly believe that our clients will agree that this settlement program offers the best possible terms and we expect that we will meet this requirement in the next 90-120 days. In order to meet this deadline we MUST have your complete
W&L is creating a frenzied mayhem & urgency for injured parties after six years of doing what exactly? So now your case, injury, suffering, loses, and all related AstraZeneca crimes will be not judged on the evidence, medical facts, in a court room, or by a jury of your peers.. You will be awarded your small pittance based upon a arbitrary point system administered by W&L paid mediator and then presented to AstraZeneca to see if passes their final muster…That’s right…AstraZeneca the Corporation that harmed you gets to make the final call on what you will receive in this shameful dog and pony show settlement program.
cooperation and immediate response. The sales pitch… Of course, if we do not meet this required number of responses, Astrazeneca can decide to withdraw its settlement offer to everyone whether one signed the Release Form or not. Therefore, time is of the essence.
A. Release Form: Enclosed you will find a Release Form which you must sign in front of a notary in Order to participate in the settlement. Placing the onus on their own clients to jump through more hoops to receive mere scraps…If you have a spouse he/she must sign the Release Form as well. Yes, all the bases have to be covered…wouldn’t want some angry and grieving spouse of a recently deceased client throwing any monkey wrenches into this rotten offer scam down the road…Attached to the Release Form will be an instruction sheet to guide you to ensure that this important form is signed the right way. A Release Form that is signed the wrong way or that is not witnessed (by a notary) is useless and will not be accepted by the defendants. The Release Form is your agreement to participate in the settlement program and at the same time discontinue your lawsuit in exchange for your settlement award. Please turn to Page 2 of the Release Form and complete the details of your Seroquel use. You may refer to Page 1 of the Brief Questionnaire which lists the Seroquel information that was found in your medical records or that you have previously provided to us. If this information is inaccurate, please cross it out and write in when you started and when you stopped taking Seroquel on BOTH the Release Form and the Brief Questionnaire. Due to the fast approaching deadlines, and our goal to get you your settlement processed and paid as quickly as possible, we MUST receive this signed release form back from you before August 31, 2011. Please use the envelope provided herein and return the signed and notarized release form today before you forget about it. Please note that once we submit your release form to AstraZeneca it can not be revoked. Once you sign on the dotted line and AstraZeneca & W&L get their greedy paws on this document they walk away Scott free….no admission of guilt, harm, wrong doing, accountability, and they forever buy your silence…. I guess W&L may have over looked that part…you need to walk away and keep your mouth shut…that is what AstraZeneca is also buying for the few grand that you may receive somewhere down the road in a year or two if your lucky…what a great deal….where do we sign up?
B. Track Selection Form: Enclosed you will find a "Track Selection Form" which is the form used to officially notify the Special Master which Track you want your case to follow. Please Note that there are 4 options on this form. You MUST check one of the Options. If you want to participate in this settlement, and we strongly think that you should, you must check either Track I OR Track II and you must sign the bottom of the form. Your Track selection cannot be changed and is considered final once the Judge's Allocations are made. In other words, a person who chooses Track II and is awarded less than $12,000 CANNOT then choose to go to Track 1 for a higher award.
C. Brief Questionnaire: Enclosed you will find a 3 page Brief Questionnaire which has
important information about your claim. For all claimants who choose to enter Track II, Judge Corodemus will be reviewing your medical records, your Fact Sheet and this Brief Questionnaire and will issue a point award. Judge Corodemus will consider the proof of your claim found in your medical records as well as the information that you provide in this Questionnaire. Therefore, it is important that you answer these questions honestly and completely and that they are consistent with what is found in your medical records.
litigation and our conversations with our medical experts, it is clear that Seroquel lawsuits are very difficult to win, very expensive, and very time consuming to take through to trial, verdict and appeal. Over the past six years only I case (from W&L) of24,000 cases in the Country made it to and through trial. Countless other cases were prepared and then dismissed based on merit and/or inability to prove that Seroquel caused the injury. Just because an individual took Seroquel and suffered an injury like diabetes does not mean that such a case will win at trial. In order to succeed at trial, a plaintiff must prove both that Seroquel can cause such an injury in general AND that, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, Seroquel caused this injury to this particular person (despite any individual risk factors such as smoking, weight, high blood sugar, family history etc.). We have told you in the past update letters that the Courts have consistently ruled in favor of the defendants on many of these issues and have prohibited medical experts from testifying because of a lack of scientific proof linking the plaintiff s injuries to his/her Seroquel use.
Now is the point in this document where you get to be hand fed all the reasons with a truck load of complete and utter bullshit of why W&L didn’t do their job with lame unsubstantiated excuses…You never had a case, this is too hard…no medical evidence (what distant planet were they writing this from?), we really don’t like cases where we have to work…to our dismay this isn’t a lay down win, with AstraZeneca spending over a billion dollars on a legal defense dream team…so we have decided you’ll be are legal sacrificial lambs; even though we sure did boast how bad & how much harm this drug caused when gathering up and marketing to potential clients in this litigation. No matter all those past verbose claims W&L made to the effect that this is a great case, and W&L will present strong convincing evidence that AstraZeneca's drug seroquel has caused significant damage and preventable suffering to many thousands of unsuspecting and innocent victims.
W&L figures a 30 million dollar plus pay day for themselves is better than having to bring these cases to court…so accept this offer NOW…so we can get on with other cases where we are sure to employ the same profitable tactics again…
Reading through this disdainful apologetic garbage, it really makes you wonder if W&L had the AstraZeneca legal team write up this settlement diatribe for them on a Pro-Bono basis….
It is also important to note that even if your case is able to advance past this judicial scrutiny, a trial of this magnitude will cost over $750,000 per case and many of these costs are reimbursed off of the top of a favorable verdict reducing the amount received by the plaintiff. The ever popular legal version rendition of “Cry Me a River” Furthermore, any case that is won at trial will surely face a lengthy and hard-fought appeal. Now comes out the W&L patented & marveled crystal ball forecast that says even if you WIN, you will LOSE…Finally, nearly all of the Seroquel cases are being handled by three judges. Notice the fact that any mention of a jury is omitted… Even at an accelerated pace, the chances are slim that your case would be tried in the next 10 years if not longer. Once again the W&L legal crystal ball has predicted the worst possible scenario even decades out in one delectable morsel sleazy bite @ selling this bad deal to their clients….<Time for that puzzled befuddled look moment> who are W&L working for after all??? In taking all of these factors into consideration, and considering the issues of risk and reward, yours or the injured parties?…the deal they have hatched presents W&L no risk and rewards them quite handsomely…but what does it do for the injured parties they represent….the risk of horribly subverted justice, and the reward of a future with a poor medical prognosis mired in abject poverty…Sounds like a WINNER we believe that a settlement of this type offers you the most advantageous resolution possible. Insert: a loud verbose laugh track here….
Reading through this document I am actually astounded W&L would be even presenting such a huge pile of horse manure to those W&L are supposed to represent with professional and ethical standards of basic decency. This appears not to be the case with W&L; who no doubt have been joined by other corrupted and unethical ambulance chaser law firms from the across America in selling out their clients for their own corrupted personal gain…
I personally only ask that each of the injured parties take pause for one moment to remember the innocent fallen, the elderly, the children, our veterans, the disenfranchised and disadvantaged others that will never receive formal legal representation or their day in court as a direct result of AstraZeneca’s unconscionable acts and inhumane crimes related to the drug Seroquel..
Please take pause to do a serious heart and gut check; and come to the rational conclusion to do the right thing by REJECTING THIS HORRIBLE & UNFAIR SETTLEMENT OFFER
Part 4 coming soon….