First NuvaRing Lawsuit Trials In Federal Court MDL And New Jersey State Court Expected To Be Scheduled For Summer 2011
These NuvaRing Bellwether, Or Test, Cases Are Intended To Serve As Early Indication About Whether A Jury Thinks Drug Companies Should Be Held Liable
The first bellwether, or test, trial in the New Jersey state court consolidation of NuvaRing lawsuits is currently scheduled to start on May 6, 2013. In the federal court NuvaRing MDL, the first bellwether trial is set to start on July 8, 2013.
The first NuvaRing trials for the hundreds of injury and death lawsuits that have been filed against Organon, Schering-Plough, and Merck are expected to be scheduled to start in the summer of 2011.
We will begin with In Re NuvaRing Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1964) -- the NuvaRing federal court Multi-district Litigation, or MDL.
U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel, who is presiding over the NuvaRing federal court MDL, has issued a Scheduling Order for Phase I Potential Bellwether Trial Pool Cases which calls for the completion of all fact discovery needed by the plaintiffs and the defendants for the first federal court NuvaRing trial by no later than December 17, 2010.
Thereafter, on January 4, 2011 the Court will hold a scheduling conference during which Judge Sippel will establish a discovery schedule for the expert witnesses who will be testifying at this first NuvaRing MDL trial. Moreover, at that January 4 conference Judge Sippel is suppose to select from among the Phase I Potential Bellwether Trial Pool Cases the particular NuvaRing case that will go to trial first. It is widely expected that the trial date for this selected NuvaRing case will be in June 2011.
We move next to the New Jersey state court system, where the numerous NuvaRing lawsuits filed there have been designated a "Mass Tort", which is being handled by the Hon. Brian R. Martinotti in the Bergen County, NJ court district.
It appears that the first NuvaRing trial in New Jersey may have a start date which is a bit earlier than the June 2011 date expected in the NuvaRing MDL litigation, if the current discovery deadlines are taken as indicators. According to Case Management Order #4 for the New Jersey NuvaRing Mass Tort litigation, all fact discovery for the ten possible bellwether, or test, cases is to be completed by November 30, 2010 and all expert witness discovery is to be completed by February 28, 2011. The start date for the first NuvaRing lawsuit in New Jersey is expected to be in May 2011.
We point out that it would not be too surprising if the starting dates for these much anticipated first trials of the NuvaRing lawsuits pending in the federal court MDL and the NJ state court system are pushed back a bit. For example, the discovery process may be slowed down by tactical legal motions filed by the parties which call for extra or unanticipated court hearings such that the current discovery deadlines need some adjustment in order to allow the plaintiffs and the defendants adequate time to fully prepare their respective cases for these first NuvaRing trials.
Of course, we will continue to monitor the NuvaRing litigation and report which particular case is selected for the first trial in the federal MDL and in the NJ Mass Tort litigations, each, as well as the scheduled starting date for each first NuvaRing trial in these jurisdictions.
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