Saturday, February 25, 2012

AstraZeneca Seroquel - The Miller Firm LLC, Ennis and Ennis, P.A., Saiontz & Kirk, P.A."You Had a Lawyer" - blowing more ambulance chaser smoke without much substance - "selling a bad settlement for profit"

AstraZeneca Seroquel - The Miller Firm LLC, Ennis and Ennis, P.A., & Saiontz & Kirk, P.A."You Had a Lawyer" - blowing more ambulance chaser smoke without much substance - "selling a bad settlement for profit"

I have become aware of this little gem of an interview at Soulful Sepulcher Blog this morning that is just begging for a proper response and some thoughtful critical commentary. It appears Ennis & Ennis PA is another Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. that trolls for & gathers up cases, that they then sell off to other firms for a nice tidy profit. So instead attempting to respond in a long winded diatribe in this opening salvo; I will just add my commentary and a response to Mr. Ennis in RED font after each of Attorney David Ennis answers below.


The AstraZeneca Seroquel diabetes litigation lawsuit: Interview with Attorney David Ennis

The AstraZeneca Seroquel diabetes litigation lawsuit: Interview with Attorney David Ennis
An interview with Attorney David Ennis from the law firm Ennis & Ennis, P.A. a “plaintiff's national personal injury law firm concentrating on representing individuals who have been injured due to medication side effects, defective medical devices and defective products.
For the purpose of this interview I emailed Mr. Ennis questions, and I have copied them directly into this post. My questions are italicized.
Hi David, thanks for agreeing to answer some questions regarding the AstraZeneca Seroquel litigation. In the last several months news reports have announced a settlement in the Seroquel diabetes lawsuits. Plaintiffs were mailed information packets that they were to sign and mail back within a set time bracket. The Seroquel Lawsuit blog has reported that the Miller Firm has not met the required percentage for the settlement offer, based on the numbers required by AstraZeneca. (This was stated on the Miller Firm’s recent information recorded update)With less than the 93% of the plaintiffs packets returned, this leaves many questions as to the future outcome of these cases.

1.Due to the deadline passing for the clients to return their settlement offer packets what are you and other law firms doing to move the lawsuit toward final settlement?

Ennis: I cannot speak for other law firms. Ennis&Ennis is assisting the Miller Firm in trying to locate clients we represent together who have moved from their last known address.

Commentary: I find it quite interesting, as well as more than a tad bit disturbing that now at this late juncture & over a year since The Miller Firm announced they had reached a settlement offer, (Dec. 2010). that both The Miller Firm and Ennis & Ennis PA are having such trouble tracking down these mysteriously missing clients only when it has become clear that the the settlement has not come anywhere close to meeting the 93% acceptance criteria agreed upon in the contractual stipulations of the AstraZeneca written settlement offer.  

In fact, it seems somewhat ludicrous that only now when this settlement is on the rocks, that these non-participating co-counsel case gathers and sellers are making any kind of effort to contact clients. Where were those efforts for the past few years?  In Fact, if you had made any kind of genuine effort to keep in contact with your clients or to keep them regularly informed, there would be no need for this last minute & far to late desperate missing client search happening only when it appears your ambulance chaser "Pay Day" is going down in flames.

2.Will AstraZeneca continue to negotiate and receive late packet agreements from clients who missed the deadline? Has the deadline been extended?

Ennis: We are working with AZ to meet the terms of the settlement agreement.

Commentary: A lawyer speak answer for "This settlement is dead" and we have no intention of renegotiation or going to trial on our clients behalf. We are just desperately hoping AstraZeneca throws us a bone; since we have worked so hard selling this horribly unfair & insulting settlement for them & just maybe we can salvage our glorious pay day. 
3.How many clients did you represent in the litigation, and how many returned and accepted the settlement offer?
Ennis: Ennis&Ennis represents 187 clients. 122 have signed and accepted the terms. 5 others are sending in their packets. Very few have opted out. We located 5 more this week who are signing and sending their packets back to our office. 

Commentary: So Ennis is saying they have roughly a 65% approval (Miller Firm stated in phone recordings that the over all approval was at around 60%, which makes a very large and astonishing 40% rejection of this settlement offer) especially when it's  clear that it takes a 93% approval to make this settlement to fly that by their own admission the plaintiff firms state will not be met. 
I hope everyone takes heed that Ennis will not even mention the numbers of those clients that have "REJECTED" the settlement outright! That is no simple mistake or omission unfortunately; because the Ennis firm has a rough estimate $350,000 pay day at stake...Client's be damned right...this is about seedy law firms selling a bad settlement to get their pay off money and move on to the next tort backroom deal...
4.Did you have clients appeal the settlement offer? Did clients have an opportunity to reject the offer?
Ennis: Clients had an opportunity to reject the settlement offer.

Commentary: OH REALLY! So even though the original offer paper work stated that clients would be given an opportunity to reject the settlement; there was never a single box to check or form to sign that would have given a injured party a clear choice to either accept or reject the settlement being offered to them.
Mr. Ennis is being disingenuous at best here..we know that the only way a client could realistically reject this offer was to not sign on to the process, or not to return the original paper work. And now they are trying to sell "The Missing Ghost Client & Packet " theory!!
Next thing we'll see; is Ennis and co-counsel will be actually starting to believe their own nonsensical advertising & corny promotion commercials...maybe they need an intervention & anti-psychotic medication? I'm quite sure their pals at AstraZeneca can help them out in negotiations on that front....

5.Does the lack of percentage of clients returning the packets indicate the client discontent with what was offered to them for a settlement in monetary terms?

Ennis: In a settlement neither party is happy with the terms. Every litigation is different. The defendant always feels they should not pay at all and the plaintiff always feel the settlement amount is too little. There is a risk for both sides. The lack of percentage of clients not returning packets has been the result of plaintiffs not being at their last known address.  

Commentary: I really need to get an industrial fan to clear all that smoke being blown here by Ennis: Neither party happy? I'm sure Ennis is fully aware that The Miller Firm (his co-counsel) has presented a settlement offer to their client's that has not only been called "very low considering similar prior settlements with like effect drugs" by many expert observers, but is also a mere faction of what other firms offered their clients with similar injuries in this very same litigation.

 Again, if Ennis or Miller had actually kept in contact & had any reasonable relationships developed with their clients while keeping them informed throughout this process; they would have no problem with this so called missing address and ghost client debacle. These facts clearly lead us to conclude that Ennis & co-counsel Miller could have cared less about injured parties concerns or questions until it was time to sign off on their "The Laws Firms" pay day. 
 In fact, if these ambulance chasers (being kind) had taken even the most elementary efforts at vetting or investigating the injured parties claims and cases; this would not be a problem...but when you use injured clients simple as cash cows for secret backroom quick pay day settlements...what do you expect to happen...same old song & dance...but your clients & I aren't buying it...either should the public...

If you haven't noticed a theme that permeates here, Ennis or co-counsel doesn't talk much about having compassion, empathy, or even attempting to try on those damaged shoes of the client's they are supposed to represent...the problem is that "they" (the lawyers) are focused only on receiving their own bounty money: Yet, truly respected attorney's believe in their clients, believe in the cases they accept, and they are willing to take the calculated risk of making the treasured investment of time, professional expertize, financial commitment, & with zealous ethically grounded steadfastness represent their client in seeking a just and right outcome/resolution/verdict in a court of law before a jury...

6.How long will you continue to search for clients that may have changed addresses? On that note, weren’t the packets mailed via certified mail for a record of receipt? Therefore could lack of returns represent a client not wanting to participate in the settlement?

Ennis: There is no set time limit. Our office personally called 65 clients this week and unfortunately were only able to locate 6. Many phones are out of service or have been disconnected. The Miller firm has hired outside companies who specialize in this to try to locate these clients.

Commentary: No set time limit? I call out BULLSHIT!!! This was certainly not the case when Garretson Resolution Group and The Miller Firm gave injured clients a strict time limit (1 week) to return the offer packets or to appeal the offer ( refer to page 2 & 6 of the Miller/Garretson offer) ...So I gather what your saying...the only time rules happen to apply in this litigation are when you (the Lawyers) decide to create them for your own convenience...

I find it quite insulting that your attempting to make excuses for a clear rejection of this poor & unjust settlement. I think it would have been really nice if The Miller Firm had actually invested a fraction of the time and energy they are putting forth trying to sell this settlement; into actual putting together a single formidable case to go to trial. Yet, we know now, that was never going to be the case. 

Law Firms like Miller and Ennis let other firms do the hard dirty work of trials and evidence collection; they pass up on that arduous work, and go directly past "GO", while collecting hefty piles of blood soaked client monopoly money.

7.Some readers, as well as myself have opined that the settlement was “low-ball”, for a life time body damage of diabetes as a result of taking Seroquel. Do you feel the settlement terms were fair to the injured clients? 
Ennis: Again if you speak to most Plaintiff lawyers they are never happy with the settlement amount and if you speak to most Defense lawyers they feel they have paid too much. If you assume Seroquel was 100% responsible for someone's diabetes then one can argue no the settlement amount was low. But the evidence did not support that 100% was related to Seroquel. Both sides had qualified experts, but unfortunately the Florida Judge ruled 4 times against Seroquel plaintiff's and the Delaware judge ruled 3 times against Seroquel plaintiff's. Those 7 plaintiff's received no compensation. The parties were ordered to mediation which is very common and settlement agreements were reached. 

Commentary: Is Ennis actually going to sit there playing apologist for AstraZeneca? 

Evidence! You've got to be F-ing kidding! Quite obviously "the qualified experts" & "evidence" Ennis & co-counsel have not gathered to the point of these bad settlement offers didn't quite cut the mustard..

That's when true professionals and ethical counsel take the time to re-evaluate their strategy, come back with more convincing evidence, better & accepted experts, and keep bringing strong cases forward...this whole lose 1 of out of 30,000 or more and just lay down & quit routine being uttered is beyond doesn't pass any smell test...and it's morally & ethically reprehensible.. did happen to realize going into this litigation that it wasn't going to be easy...AstraZeneca decided to draw the line in the sand, play some serious legal hard ball, & spent upwards of a billion dollars to date in buying the best "experts", "legal counsel", and "who knows what else"  on the planet. In fact, this blog is chalked full of convincing evidence & much more has been compiled since this seedy backroom settlement deal has been conspired. 

No one with an ounce of common sense thought or would have imagined that plaintiff's would win each and every case. But, there are 30,000 plus cases (and more waiting in the wings) that could & should have been considered for and taken to jury presentation. 

Just because parties are ordered by the court into a mediation process does not means that plaintiff attorney's are supposed to capitulate and accept settlements that add up to nothing more or less than the cost of continuing to litigate..this settlement has never been about injured parties...or the's been about clearing the slate and profiteering off of those Ennis (and supposed co-counsel) have taken a solemn oath to serve in the client's best interest. 

These kinds of glossed over answers and lawyer speak propaganda statements are just smoke blowing sessions that serve to further validate what this blog has been saying for some time now. 

No one, including their supposed legal counsel has stood up for the injured parties best interest in this litigation. These kinds of poorly negotiated settlements by attorney's that win financially by losing: just continue to highlight the importance of getting cases before a jury of ours peers. Justice is  absolutely being grossly subverted or forever corrupted here, and sadly by the very people sworn to serve this time honored promise & principle of our Republic.

8.Were all of the clients with all law firms involved offered the same amount of monetary settlement? If not, this does not seem fair; can you explain why for example, one law firm can offer a higher amount for settlement than another to their clients?

Ennis: The settlement negotiations are confidential. I am not aware nor would we be privy to what other firms settled their clients claims for. What I can say is that AZ felt they should not have to pay anything since they had won 7 cases and had many more cases dismissed and the plaintiffs were not happy because they felt the compensation was not enough. When both sides are unhappy that is the definition of a settlement. Nobody wins in a settlement. The only time you have a clear cut win or lose is if a jury decides the case. As of the date of the settlement the Judges hearing these cases had dismissed all of the cases before them. 

Commentary: actually not so confidential after all correct! Ennis & Ennis has been to this blog in the past...I find it highly suspect that they would have not read the other settlement packets here...or that they are completely unaware of what other firms settlement offer averages are (for your education: Miller Letter and settlement offer differences)...Obviously no one except the lawyers (Ennis, Co-counsel, AstraZeneca) are winning in this settlement...certainly not the injured parties....In fact, how many cases do you think Ennis & co-counsel have actually brought to trial in this litigation...The Answer is ZERO...Of course Miller & Ennis; you can't win at trial, unless you actually take a case to trial...

9.Do the attorneys representing the Seroquel victims get paid even though the required percentage was not met? If the required percentage of 93% is never met, will the attorneys be paid anything, or will they require payment from their clients?

Ennis: We have not received any attorneys fees or reimbursement for costs. The lawyers do not get paid until the clients get paid. The clients who wish to opt out will not be responsible for attorneys fees or costs unless they agree to the settlement.

Commentary: Did Ennis wear his dancing slippers while answering this one....
this is what is most likely going to happen:

The Miller Firm only has four options..

1. renegotiate the settlement ( they have stated on numerous occasions they will not do this)
2. take cases to trial ( again, they have stated vehemently on numerous occasions they are not going to take a single case to trial)
3. continue to sell the failed settlement as is (this would mean them somehow magically meeting the 93% approval threshold or AstraZeneca simply walks away)
4. walk away from the Seroquel litigation ( this means they will have no other recourse than drop all of their clients. which means The Millers Firm & co-counsel "other firms that sold their cases to The Miller Firm like Ennis&Ennis; will receive nothing, and will eat the cost invested thus far in this litigation **which appears to have been quite minimal by the way**)

Hope that clears some of the smoke being blown here! I certainly hope it's just not me seeing this dead whale being washed up on the beach...

10.I have noticed many of the drug injury law firm websites no longer host information on Seroquel, or Seroquel litigation updates. Was that part of the agreement required of law firms by AstraZeneca?
Ennis: No. 

Commentary: out of sight, out of mind......these firms are busy selling other drug & device litigation...they certainly don't want their "Seroquel" dirty laundry being exposed out in public for all to see....that's not good PR for the legal case gathering and sell off business, especially don't want those next sucker potential clients to see how the dirty game is being played....

11.Have attorneys been threatened, or felt intimidated by the AstraZeneca legal teams?
Ennis: No

Commentary: LMAO  , How about injured clients being threatened & intimidated by the plaintiff attorney's? Expected answer: No Comment, cat has got their tongue...

12.What happens next with your and Miller Firm clients? (How are you associated with the Miller Firm, if at all?)Will any law firms be taking individual cases to court after the time is up and the 93% has not been met? Will you be representing clients individually in court if the 93% is not met?
Will you be representing clients individually in court if the 93% is not met? 

Ennis: We are co-counseling our Seroquel cases with the Miller firm. Both firms have extensive experience in Mass Torts. As previously explained we are attempting to locate clients to communicate the settlement terms. 

Commentary: Ennis can't seem to get off his tap dancing sell the settlement band wagon here...what Ennis avoids telling us is that The Miller Firm has made it very clear on numerous occasions that they are not going to take a single case to trial going they are either lying...or clients will be dumped to the curb in mass...unless Ennis is stating that his firm will be taking Seroquel cases to trial? Is that what your saying Mr. Ennis? 
I'll be awaiting your response with breathless & bated anticipation!

13.How many clients in the 26,000+ cases appealed or rejected the Seroquel settlement offer?

Ennis: I do not know the answer to this question. I can only speak to the clients who retained our law firm as co-counsel with the Miller firm.

Commentary: But you haven't said or mentioned how many of the Ennis or Miller Firm clients have REJECTED the settlement offer (40%) fact, all you will talk about is tracking down these mysterious missing packets and ghost clients....SMOKE! Anyone?

14.In the next 30-90 days what do you think the news will be regarding the lack of 93% required packets? How long will AstraZeneca be willing to wait for law firms to gather missing client packets? Have you or have other law firms pressured clients to take the offer? 

Ennis: I do not have a crystal ball. I can only say based on the clients we have located I expect the response to be similar to what we have already reported. If 93% are not reached then AZ will have to make a determination do they want to pay the clients who have accepted the terms of do they want to go back to court to defend the claims and incur additional defense costs. We are not at that stage at this point. No one is at fault here it is just a matter of locating the clients. As previously discussed this is a very transient population. I think in the next 90 days a lot of these issues will be cleared up. It is not is anyone' s best interests to be adversarial toward one another. The parties are working to resolve the issues.

Commentary:  The legal process by definition is an adversarial process; I find it unbelievable that an attorney of all people (using the term "people" loosely) would be lecturing anyone on process civility; especially in light of how badly clients have been treated, mislead, and left completely in the dark by The Miller Firm. 

Ennis states he doesn't expect the 93% threshold to be met even after concluding their suspicious ghost client hunt correct. On the Miller firm update recording this past week it stated that AstraZeneca is not releasing funds because the conditions of the agreement have not been met...

I would like you to clarify your position for everyone please....Is The Ennis & Ennis firm going to move forward representing their clients against AstraZeneca in court within the next 90 days if this settlement is not approved...? 

I'm sorry, but this shocking news, a giant unexpected revelation, & information that appears to fly in the face of everything your co-counsel (The Miller Firm) has been telling their clients...Talk about a confusing and baffling smoke-N-mirrors quandary...

15.What words of advice do you have for people injured by pharmaceuticals in the future? Will it be even more difficult to go up against “Big Pharma”? 

Ennis: People who have been injured by Big Pharma should not be discouraged by this outcome. We still live in a country where people who have been wronged have a right to hold the responsible party accountable. The problem is if you give away those rights you will be left with nothing. Big Pharma and other corporations always try to discourage litigation because it is in their best interest. Remember if the victim does nothing you get nothing and Big Pharma wins. As long as lawyers are willing to take the risk and we can get access to a jury we can equal the playing field. Over the last decade it has become more difficult due to political influences. We need major reform in this country against Medical Device manufacturers and generic drug makers. In the last 3 years patients have lost 2 major Supreme Court Decisions. One decision gave Medical Device manufacturers preemption for 360 device approvals. This must be changed in the legislature. Further this past summer the Supreme Court ruled Generic Drug Manufacturers Preemption if you took a Generic Drug. So if your neighbor took the Brand Drug and was injured he has a right to compensation, but if you took the same drug from a Generic Manufacturer you are barred from bringing a claim. This is a total injustice. Your readers need to call their Congressman and demand the Legislative Branch to overturn these terrible decisions. I recommend all of your readers to view the HBO documentary titled, "Hot Coffee" to really get a true understanding of what we are fighting against on a daily basis. It is a good fight and we will keep representing the victims unless our Political System shuts the door to the Court House's around our country. I hope this shed's some light to your readers on these issues. -David Ennis, Attorney

Commentary: Funny you would mention the "HOT COFFEE" documentary...that case actually went to trial...I don't see how firm's like Ennis & Ennis stock piling drug injury cases, and then selling them off to firms like Miller serves justice or clients. I certainly don't see how turning individual injury "TORT" claims/litigation into some kind of very profitable (for the lawyers) bastardized Class action system is serving injured parties or justice. 

Though, I do encourage concerned parties to call or contact their congressman, department of justice, attorney bar associations in regards to holding plaintiff attorney firms accountable to their professional & ethical obligations, and to also open the courts once again to the constitutional promise of having our just day in court before a jury of our peers.

I guess that concludes this interesting question and answer session; really not much in the way of clear answers from Ennis...but you can't really judge someone to harshly for blowing a little smoke our way now & then...

1 comment:

  1. of MANY things i have missed since their powerful 'Seroquel' harm, i also missed the AstraZeneca's settlement packet due date too, got another [many after ten years] email?, i called the day paperwork had been sent back minus mine and other scared and chronographically challenged victims of settlement, any help out there for this force-reclusive disabled person?..


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