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injury sphere become accustomed to seeing the same plaintifforiented
physicians repeatedly, a best practice is to develop
provider-specific requests for those physicians-and to utilize
defense attorneys who are familiar with medical litigation
funding practices. While developing strong discovery requests
is the first step to discovering key medical litigation funding
information, follow-through on those requests is even more
important. Any response or objection to the non-party request
should be carefully reviewed and promptly responded to with
an appropriate good faith letter to attempt to resolve the
discovery dispute. This step is required in most jurisdictions
prior to filing a motion to compel.
The use of medical litigation funding continues to appear in a
growing number of cases. Likewise, the claimed medical bills
in seemingly run-of-the-mill personal injury cases continue to
multiply exponentially due to funding involvement. Both factors
undeniably contribute to the prevalence of so-called " nuclear "
verdicts across the country in recent years. Fortunately, courts
and legislative bodies have begun to see that medical litigation
funding is nothing like traditional medical bill payment sources
available to personal injury plaintiffs, which formed the basis
for the collateral source rule. While these developments may
open the door for discovering and using litigating funding
evidence, the onus is on defense counsel, claims adjusters,
and investigators to continue to fight for further disclosure.
The process of performing an initial investigation of claimed
medical bills and damages, sending requests, and pursuing the
appropriate follow-up is onerous, tiring, and time-consuming.
It can also be expensive for carriers, so carriers must understand
why the discovery battle is both necessary and important to the
defense of the case. The members of the so-called funding
triangle will almost certainly continue working together to
resist the disclosure of this type of funding information, and
the defense bar (and its clients) must do the same. For more
information please see Medical Litigation Funding: How to
Spot It and How to Fight It - Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP
Whitney Lay Greene is a partner at Drew Eckl & Farnham LLP in Atlanta, Georgia.
She is an experienced civil litigator in the general liability field, practicing primarily in
the areas of commercial transportation/trucking law, ride-share/gig-economy liability,
premises liability, and product liability. Ms. Greene assists clients with matters large
and small and has significant experience with complex liability and medical causation
issues, including catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims. She is on the Steering
Committee of the DRI Trucking Law Committee and is Vice-Chair of the ABA Tort
and Insurance Practice Section Commercial Transportation Committee.
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SIU Today Fall 2021

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