Civil lawsuits often bring public attention to potential hazards. However, many of these lawsuits are sealed from the public. Since 1990, at least 420 civil lawsuits have been entirely sealed, which means the name of the defendant, the claim and the resolution of the case are not available to the public. Over 1,000 have been sealed in part. For example, four years ago a lawsuit was filed against Medtronic regarding an unsafe medical device, where a woman ended up in a coma. The judge sealed the file at Medtronic’s request, so the public has no access to the name of the device or whether they or their family member is at risk.
If you believe you have a personal injury claim, please contact a personal injury attorney right away. Personal injury attorneys affiliated with groups like the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association can frequently find out about cases that have been sealed.
For more information, please see: The cases your judges are hiding from you.