What is the most challenging aspect of this case?
Minneapolis personal injury lawyer Bill Tilton discusses what is the most difficult part of the Ethicon Endo Surgery case.
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The court system – when a big corporate defendant wants to defend, they can delay and delay and delay, and that’s what’s happening. My first big case as a trial lawyer was a products liability case. It was a Dalkon Shield case. I was a puff lawyer in the early ’80s, spent three weeks getting beat up by three different law firms, and we won, and that’s what’s gonna happen with this one. [Laughs] It may be my last big trial as a lawyer, a products liability case for a defective medical device against a less-than-honest pharmaceutical company, but we’re gonna win this case too.
So I have had my career bookended by major products liability actions. In some senses, from the lawyer’s point of view, whether it’s products liability or medical malpractice, doesn’t make any difference. You have to get into the facts of that case. Every case is different. Every case that I take is science-intensive. So I learn about the minutiae of medical devices and plastics manufacturing and manufacturing tolerances and things like that for a surgical stapler case. I learn about otolaryngology and the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the parathyroid and thyroid glands and all that sorts of stuff for a surgical case.
Every case is different, and that’s why, when you’re hiring a lawyer, you’ve gotta have a lawyer who’s nimble, because yes, I’ve done medical negligence cases before, but yours is gonna be different than that next person’s, and every case is fact-specific, and we spend months researching. We have drawers full of medical articles on every case, practically, that we take in.