The threat of a trial is typically a very strong bargaining chip to help sides reach a settlement in a case. For plaintiffs, the bargaining chip is that a trial will ensure that bad behavior of the defendant becomes public and the company may end up having a large jury verdict against it.
Without the documents to prove their claim though, Biomet recognized that the plaintiffs in the MDL were in a weak bargaining position. Taking advantage of this scenario, Biomet agreed to resolve many cases in the MDL through a settlement program that was very bad for most plaintiffs.
On the surface, the settlement program appeared to be a $56 million program that could offer the average person $200,000. However, once Biomet actually started to resolve cases, they were only willing to settle cases for a mere fraction of that amount.
Unfortunately, Biomet felt it had the leverage to be able to offer such low amounts because the MDL court agreed with Biomet regarding “discovery” and limited the documents available to plaintiffs. With little hope that they could actually prove their cases, many plaintiffs took very little money to resolve their cases.
Some people refused to take the low settlements, however. Many more were simply ineligible for any settlement offers based on Biomet’s eligibility criteria. Therefore, the settlement program offered no hope to many thousands of Biomet M2a patients.
Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. is one of the few law firms in the country taking cases that did NOT qualify for the settlement and actively litigating them in state courts around the United States instead of through the federal MDL.