This case reported by Law 360 settled before we had to do any discovery – and it should have settled. This young veteran got an operation that he did not need. There was really no evidence that he had thoracic outlet syndrome. Worse, the surgery was a disaster as the VA did not even have the proper instruments available. As we typically do, we went into this case “front loaded.” We had all of our expert reports done and we made it clear that we were fully ready for trial when we filed. In our nationwide practice representing veterans and military families, we have found this to be a very effective tactic.
The local Federal court required an early settlement conference/mediation. We have dealt with this requirement in other jurisdictions and often found it to be a frustrating process as the other side could not (or would not) get their ducks in a row such that meaningful negotiations could occur. In this instance, the local United States Attorney’s office was prepared. We also had a great mediator, Judge Charles Atwell of Kansas City, MO.
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