I just received letter from law firm representing me in product liability (drug) class action lawsuit (or mdl) has settled and via the point system my dads case was settled in the amount of $8,456.00(my recollection, as I do not have paperwork in hand. This case has been ongoing 3 yrs. I have made several calls in attempts to get case updates during this time and I always got vague answers. I had begun to think it was just a scam. From the many online case updates & messages from other plaintiffs and clients, those who are being representing by the same law firm involved with my case, as well as other law firms, I do believe the lawsuit and the lawyers are legit. But I am still Leary that the patients and their families will know anything close to justice from the settlement negotiated by the drug company and lawyers. EVERY case should have factored in the 'potential medical liens: Medicare, other insurance entities, etc.!! The attorneys have had all insurance (Medicare & secondary) info and medical records, notes & bills! I filed this claim on behalf of my father who had taken the drug. He died before I was aware that other people were suffering major health / organ complications & death. Nothing could bring him back to us, but I felt that holding the drug manufacturer & others involved in not making the dangerous side effects publicly and widely known, was the last act of advocacy, of love & attempt at justice I could do for dad! I was in a sad place and depression for 2-3 years, before I could live beyond a day at a time, let alone find a smile in my heart again. It is only now that this law firm is mentioning their 40% fee and potential deductions from private insurance and or Medicare who may decide they want to be compensated for their cost related to care they covered due to my dad's injuries from the drug. So out of aprox $8,400 minus the referenced arty fees, etch, I could end up with $1k or so. If this is the likely outcome, I am not motivated to accept (sign off) and return the settlement and non disclosure documents to the atty. I am just wondering, Since it was deemed that I (on behalf of my deceased dad) did have a valid case with monetary reward; do I have any other options to purse claim for potentially larger reward? Seems my deadline to accept settlement is here. If arty doesn't get documents to defendant, he will have to return my money to them. He told me, he'd hate to see that happen. Well, sure, I dont want the greedy, drug company to win or receive any money. But I dont feel in my heart that my dad would want his family to receive a thousand dollars from all the suffering he went through and then the loss and grief his family is still feeling every day, every holiday without his smile and laughter, his birthdays and anniversary of his death, while the lawyers get the large portion and insurance companies hold out their wallets. Finally, will there be Fed and or State taxes due on the settlement: either full ant or my ant after all fees collected? Are the patty fees or insurance liens/monies taken tax deductible? Any suggestions you can offer will be appreciated. Sincerely, Tess
1 Answer from Attorneys
Condition your acceptance on their handling of all liens and subrogation interests. Medicare will take 6-9-months just to tell you how much they want. It is VERY unlikely that there would be ANY money to distribute. If there were, it is NOT taxable as income but it becomes part of your father's estate and thereby potentially liable for estate taxes. Again, the likelihood that the estate would receive anything is remote.