Canadian Lawyer

September 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 44 of 51 43 LEGAL TECH SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE Cutting-edge tech critical in supporting PI firms' shift to more complex litigation Medchart broadening capabilities to revolutionize class action and mass tort work IN THE WAKE of regulatory changes such as British Columbia moving to a "no fault" sys- tem and Ontario's amendments to the Class Proceedings Act, many personal injury firms are looking to diversify revenue streams and are trending towards more multiple-plaintiff work as a business line. "We're trying to capitalize on this shift by investing in top people that know what they're doing and getting the evidence we need to win," says David Preszler, practice leader with Preszler Injury Lawyers. "It's one thing to sign people up, but we have to actually litigate these cases and beat some of the most sophis- ticated companies in the world. They're not just going to roll over and write a big cheque — that's not how this is going to go." Turning to multiple-plaintiff work makes sense because personal injury firms already have a readily transferable skillset. It's the same civil litigation process — issuing a statement of claim, doing an affidavit of documents, getting expert evidence to support the claim — for an MVA as it is for a mass torts claim. And, Preszler notes, the money is there too: these are large corpo- rations being sued. Like the MVA business centres around dealing with huge insurance companies, mass torts are taking on huge pharmaceutical companies or institutional defendants with deep pockets. At the end of the day, especially for those practicing in BC, it's simply a way for these lawyers to keep their jobs, Preszler says. As class action and mass tort work becomes an increasingly front-and-centre issue for Canadian litigators, a critical piece of the equation is that the technology firms need to do what they do best, but at scale. There's a huge opportunity in the Canadian market to take advantage of modern technologies that leverage data to inform case strategy and automate the task of identifying key qual- ifiers, such as a client's conditions, impair- ments, medications and drug devices. Preszler says for his firm's mass tort work, Medchart is able to, for example, quickly and easily find the product ID number for the hernia mesh that they're running a campaign on by reviewing the medical records. "That's a huge advantage that nobody else offers," Preszler says. "They're very good at what they do." Medchart adds that layer of insight in a cost effective and reliable way, says Anand Ablack, Vice President of Business Development, calling the investment a game changer for class actions and mass tort lawyers on both sides of the border. It's particularly exciting for Canadian PI firms moving into these areas of more complex litigation. "We're broadening our capabilities to use a growing number of electronic data sources, artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide insights and analytics that would otherwise take hours of work — we're really looking to revolutionize the space," says Ablack. Medchart has already launched this tech- nology in the US for claimant qualification for large mass torts, including Purdue opioid, and the feedback to date has been fantastic, with lawyer customers saying, "it turns health data into health information that they can base their litigation decisions on." "We've really cut our teeth in the US market around the largest mass torts," he says. "We're looking to help Canadian firms in a similar way through medical data aggregation, review and claimant qualification at scale. It's an exciting time for PI firms in this space, and this is really just the beginning." Medchart streamlines your medical record retrieval process through advanced technology and direct digital connections for personal injury, medical malpractice, class action, and mass tort firms. Request a client's full medical record, diagnostic imaging, and billing history — all delivered digitally through our cloud-based platform. Brought to you by

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Lawyer - September 2021