Miami plaintiff’s attorney John Ruiz explained: “Bayer has
responded in good conscience.
They knew they had a problem and admitted
they were wrong.
In general the plaintiff’s attorneys are pretty
Home Products in fen-phen litigation (Kay, 2003). favorably upon the speed and efficiency with which
Ruiz also commented the settlements were
Similarly, Bayer did not attempt to conceal its
settlements by requiring confidentiality agreements.
Like the existence
of a schedule, this action conveys the message of taking responsibility
for wrongdoing. agreements that
This contrasts with the sweeping confidentiality are often sought with settlements.
Bayer’s actions convey this social meaning even if it has nothing
to do with strategy.
Bayer management’s subjective motivations for pursuing It may be that Bayer pursued this strategy purely as a
this way of
44 minimizing overall payouts. Second, Bayer’s approach provided at least the appearance of
horizontal equity: treating similarly situated plaintiffs similarly.
42 43 44 E-mail communication with George Lykos, September 27, 2007. Interview with John Ruiz, February 19, 2008. Of course, the “subjective” motivations of a corporate defendant are difficult to ascertain -- or even conceptualize.
45 Absent access to the settlement data, it is impossible to confirm this.
Interestingly, the horizontal equity may have been only within
national borders: Canadian substantially less than US
plaintiffs appear to have
been offered the publicly
class action notices, Canadian plaintiffs’ “Level I: Rhabdomyolysis contemporaneously
payments were as follows: with ingestion of Baycol.
hospitalization required: $10,000; Level II: contemporaneously with ingestion of Baycol.
initial in-patient hospitalization for treatment of Rhabdomyolysis (specifically excluding rehabilitative care and chronic care); Level III: Rhabdomyolysis contemporaneously with ingestion of Baycol.
Hospitalization was required and dialysis or treatment was necessary: $50,000; plus $1000
other exceptional hospital for each day of initial in-
patient hospitalization for treatment of Rhabdomyolysis (specifically excluding rehabilitative care and chronic care) plus $2000 for each dialysis treatment to a maximum of $50,000; for a maximum total payment