Bailey Perrin Bailey LLP - representing over 6000 injured clients in the Seroquel Litigation - jumps on the sleazy sell the settlement band wagon - not a single trial? Yet, the State of South Carolina has also hired them to go up against AstraZeneca at actual trial?
In a prior post about Bailey Perrin Bailey LLP- Arkansas on this blog, I highlighted this law firm plaintiff heavy weight in the Seroquel litigation Bailey Perrin Bailey LLP out of Houston Texas (also known as Houston Associates) along with Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. . These law firms were deemed the lead plaintiff counsel (here page 4) in the Seroquel litigation together compiling over 8000 of the some 28000 injured party cases. We are able to formulate a pretty fair guess that BPB settlement offer to the injured seroquel victims falls pretty close to the W&L offer. Though we can see that each of these law firms have devised their own distribution scheme in an attempt at selling and marketing this low ball AstraZeneca offer to their respective clients.
With a little more research it is now apparent that BPB is also representing the State of South Carolina in their litigation against AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca Sues South Carolina to Block Use of Private Lawyers in State's Seroquel Case
_____________When AstraZeneca reached a $68.5 million settlement with 37 states last week for alleged off-label marketing of its Seroquel antipsychotic, seven states with pending Seroquel false marketing cases against AZ stayed on the sidelines. One of them was South Carolina, which sued AstraZeneca for off-label Seroquel marketing in 2009. On Monday, AstraZeneca went on the attack, filing a 22-page declaratory judgment suit against S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson in state court in Spartanburg.AstraZeneca's lawyers at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius allege that Wilson is violating the company's constitutional due process rights by prosecuting a "law enforcement action akin to a criminal proceeding" under the guise of a civil suit. AZ also accuses Wilson of reaching an "unlawful" agreement to split a potentially "staggering"contingency fee among three private plaintiffs lawyers and his own office.
"The underlying litigation, as it now stands, is an orchestrated plan by Attorney General Wilson and private counsel to seek the maximum penalty--in the absence of any actual deception, actual reliance on any actual deception, or actual harm from AstraZeneca's actions," AZ's complaint asserts. "Moreover, the Attorney General and private counsel now have created an enterprise whereby they will jointly attempt to exploit the Attorney General's law enforcement authority, so they can both profit on a massive contingency fee."
The company cites a December 2009 amendment to a fee agreement that grants plaintiffs lawyers F. Kenneth Bailey of Bailey Perrin Bailey, John Simmons of the Simmons Law Firm, and John Belton White Jr. of Harrison, White, Smith& Goggins up to 23 percent of any penalties awarded to the state under the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.The AG's office would retain ten percent of the contingency fee under the agreement. "Both the Attorney General's and private counsel's financial interest in the 'successful' prosecution of claims against AstraZeneca could be staggeringly high," AZ alleges.South Carolina first filed suit against AstraZeneca in 2009, seeking damages to recover funds the state spent to treat Seroquel side-effects and for reimbursements for alleged off-label Seroquel uses. Wilson's predecessor amended the state's complaint in March 2010, dismissing all claims except for statutory penalties for alleged false statements in Seroquel package inserts. In addition, AZ claims, the state amended its fee agreement to delete a previous provision strictly limiting the private lawyers' recovery to actual damages. (The state's original and amended fee agreements and complaints against AZ are here.)
According to AstraZeneca, Wilson and the state's outside counsel claim AZ must be penalized $5,000 for every Seroquel prescription ever written in South Carolina. That could translate into "at least millions" for the plaintiffs firms, and contingency fees for Attorney General Wilson that "could approximate or exceed the annual budget for his office."
We left messages with Ken Bailey of Bailey Perrin Bailey and with a spokesperson for AG Wilson, but we didn't hear back. AZ lawyers J. Gordon Cooney Jr., Brian Shaffer, and Thomas Sullivan of Morgan Lewis declined to comment.
What I find somewhat disturbing yet once again, is that Bailey Perrin Bailey is also co-counsel in the state of Arkansas & South Carolina where they will be taking AstraZeneca to actual trial over the drug Seroquel (2012 in Arkansas - background story here -> from the blog tmap & from bloomberg news).
Yet, BPB has sold out the injured parties they represent in the civil Seroquel litigation in secret backroom deals & a settlement that will enrich BPB in the ball park of some 80+ million dollars in profit. This happens while leaving those injured parties with little or nothing more than a insulting token settlement in the very low thousands. It's mind boggling to see BPB has been hired as co-counsel in the State of Arkansas & South Carolina to represent the public interest when they couldn't even represent the best interest of the 6000+ injured seroquel clients they were ethically & professionally charged with representing the "clients best interest"..?
We now know BPB is reaping in up to a shared 23 percent of any penalties awarded to the states under the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act in just one of these sweet heart deals? At up to $5000 dollars per seroquel script written in those states; how many more tens of millions of dollars will BPB gather up in profits while leaving those injured by Seroquel in continued suffering from the adverse effects (which include diabetes and related conditions, while many of those unfortunate victims will be forever mired down in abject poverty) without adequate compensation or proper medical care thanks to the so called lack of representation by BPB...?
We must start questioning the ethics and professionalism being demonstrated in these kinds of seemingly reprehensible behaviors by law firms that appear to be self centered profit driven product litigation machines first and foremost; then if it's convenient they'll maybe decide to serve their client's pitiful interest also.. Especially since we now know BPB reached an agreement with AstraZeneca in the civil litigation to sell & market a low ball settlement offer to their clients with the promise of full compliance & with no or few litigants left outstanding. In fact it appears that any injured party that doesn't jump on board the BPB's own easy 80+ million dollar pay day will no doubt be dumped to the curb without representation once the settlement has been rubber stamped by their new pals over @ AstraZeneca.
Not a bad business deal for these modern day sleazy FDA adverse effect announcement chaser law firms...of course why not lose & screw over the injured party clients by not taking cases to trial that would cost money and take time; when the pay offs are so high and the down side in human toll is so distant and detached from these law firm's ivory tower world....they know FDA is always about to announce the next drug warning or questionable medical procedure that these law firms will be jumping all over with "we get big settlements" advertizing for new suckers to low ball swindle for another massive payday without ever having to take cases to trial...you don't have to take my word for it...check out their web sites and TV commercials...then notice how their sites have been washed clean of Seroquel...or what ever other drug they reached a sleazy secret backroom settlement over?
These law firms want to continue to operate in this profitable secrecy...secret deals and settlements the public or clients never get to see or review..evidence of harmful drug effects that are hidden away in sealed court records that will never make it into the public knowledge base...these bad settlements are not just a horrible travesty to the injuried parties...they are also not in the best interest of the greater public's health and safety..not to even mention the dark stain of injustice this leaves imprinted upon our society and nation for many generations to come..
There are just to many lives at stake, and way too much money involved in this situation for everything to be done in secret without actual client participation and public oversight..there is obviously way too much Hanky Panky in play and far to few answers to be had...
It is far past the time for the Department of Justice and the Attorney General's Office in Washington DC to put down those eight dollar cups of coffee & stop munching on sixteen dollar muffins. & start investigating what is really going on here..Let us make sure our justice system works for those who it's intended to serve...the people & citizens of America.
***If there is a disgruntled Bailey Perrin Bailey or other law firm Injured Seroquel Client who feels they have been wronged or feel this is a corrupted & unfair process...please pass along your offer packet with personal identifying information edited out to be posted on this blog***