In contrast to the traditional litigation funding scenario described in our Litigation Funding page, a relatively few funding companies have recently begun to focus on funding cases arising out of large-scale claims involving personal injury attributable to a variety of defective products, including, but not limited to, medical devices and pharmaceuticals – otherwise generally known as “mass tort claims.” Mass torts are considered to provide a cost-effective alternative to lengthy and expensive traditional single-party litigation. These cases usually involve large corporate defendants, such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.
Within this funding niche, a handful of companies have recently begun to specialize in funding only the costs necessary to identify, screen and qualify claimants who may be eligible to make claims against and collect damages from a large corporate defendant. These companies do not fund the litigation or lend money to plaintiffs or law firms. These companies focus solely on funding the costs of pre-qualifying the potential claimants – determining whether, in general, a potential claimant can show both use of a particular drug, device or other product and harm sustained as a result of such use. The qualification process usually begins with national advertising for prospective claimants. When a prospective claimant is identified, the claimant undergoes a thorough screening (including interviews, detailed reviews of medical records and, if necessary, an independent medical examination) to determine that such claimant has a valid and viable claim for recovery. Once a claimant is qualified, he/she is referred to an experienced attorney who files a case and obtains a financial recovery.