For the uninitiated, the discovery process is an important step in any civil case. Discovery can be a daunting task for someone inexperienced with litigation. For this reason, we have created a to-do list that will help you navigate through this complicated process and ensure that your claim is well prepared.
1) Obtain medical records from any healthcare professionals who treated you after or during your exposure to the product in question.
- The records request should cover all relevant time periods to avoid missing important information.
- Medical documentation is needed for evidentiary hearings, depositions, and trials.
- The more medical providers on your team, the better chance of success you have in convincing a jury of your pain and suffering.
2) Gather information about all other possible sources of injury or illness that may be related to the product.
- This includes doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies that have treated you.
- Depending on the source of injury you may need to request information on any other drug or medical device used by patients in your class of cases.
- Even though it may not be relevant now, make sure all potential claims are included in the request for documents (RFD).
3) Make requests from defendants for documents related to their manufacturing processes and test results.
- Request documents from all manufacturers of the product at issue.
- Request any studies or published results in reference to the safety and effectiveness of that product, as well as a comparison to other products on the market.
- Gather information about internal memos related to the study/study group. These might include manufacturing quality control reports, laboratory notebooks, meeting minutes, and other documents that reveal the defendants’ knowledge of issues with the design or manufacturing.
- You will need to request documents related to company-wide recalls, as well as any internal memos concerning these issues. Other litigation related to the business might be of interest, including settlements reached with competitors regarding similar safety concerns as well as government entities such as the FDA who may have issued warnings about the products in question.
In conclusion, the discovery process may be tedious, but it’s a necessary process to ensure you are prepared for trial. By following these steps and working with experts who understand the complexities of the process, you’ll save time and money by avoiding costly mistakes.