Tag Archives: Multicounty Litigation

Judge Higbee to the Appellate Division?

It is being reported today that Judge Carol Higbee, who is one of several judges assigned to handle multi-county litigation pending in New Jersey, is being temporarily assigned to the Appellate Division.  Currently, Judge Higbee presides over several multi-county litigations pending in Atlantic County, New Jersey, many of which involve product liability claims against pharmaceutical products or medical devices.  The Appellate Division assignment is reported to run from mid-April to mid-June, with the possibility that it could become a permanent assignment. It remains to be…

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Roche Recusal Victory Short-Lived

Last week, we commented on what appeared to be some success for Hoffman-La Roche in its efforts to force the recusal of Judge Carol Higbee from her role presiding over the centralized multicounty litigation involving Accutane.  However, the order issued by New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia — which imposed a stay on the trial court proceedings and appeared to us to suggest that Roche’s application would receive further review on the merits before the Appellate Division — was superceded by two further orders

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Roche Wins Battle in Recusal Fight

We continue to follow with great interest the on-going efforts by Hoffman-La Roche to force the recusal of Judge Carol Higbee, who has been overseeing the thousands of claims pending against Roche involving Accutane in the Superior Court of New Jersey.  Up until now, Roche’s efforts have been unsuccessful, beginning with Judge Higbee’s initial denial of the recusal application, followed by the New Jersey Appellate Division’s rejection of Roche’s application for leave to appeal that denial. However, Roche’s fortunes may be changing — at least…

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New Jersey Supreme Court Denies Another MultiCounty Litigation Application Without Explanation

In a notice posted earlier this week, the New Jersey Supreme Court has denied another application seeking centralization of cases under New Jersey’s established multicounty litigation procedures.  Unfortunately, this denial — rendered with respect to cases involving DuraPro brand toilet supply lines — offers no analysis or explanation for why the Court rejected the application.  The denial by the Court — similar to prior denials — again references comments received with respect to the application for centralization without providing any discussion of those comments, or…

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Accutane Recusal Fight Headed to NJ Supreme Court

We, like others, have been following the ongoing saga of Hoffman-La Roche’s efforts to secure the recusal of Judge Carol Higbee from her role presiding over the centalized multicounty litigation involving Accutane.  Last month, we noted that the Apellate Division had denied Hoffman-La Roche’s attempt to force Judge Higbee’s recusal.  Hoffman-La Roche, as reported by, among others, Law360 (registration required), continues to push this issue, and has now asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to review its request.  A copy of Hoffman-La Roche’s brief is…

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Appellate Division Rejects Bid to Recuse Accutane Judge

Law360 is reporting (registration required) that the New Jersey Appellate Division has rejected Hoffman-La Roche’s attempt to recuse Judge Carol Higbee from her role presiding over the centralized multicounty litigation involving Accutane.   We previously discussed Roche’s efforts here, here, here, and here. According to the Law360 article, Roche intends to continue down this path and challenge the Appellate Division’s refusal to review its application.  Given New Jersey’s strong and well-established centralized multicounty litigation program, it is doubtless that many practitioners in…

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Statute of Limitations Substantive not Procedural for Foreign Plaintiff Suing in New Jersey

In an opinion released on June 14, 2013, a panel of New Jersey’s Appellate Division reaffirmed that the question of which state’s statute of limitations should be applied is a substantive, not a procedural, question. The issue arose in one of the many Zometa cases pending in Middlesex County.  In this particular case, the plaintiff, a resident of Virginia, received Zometa in 2002, was diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw in December 2003, and filed suit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, the manufacturer of Zometa, in…

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Second Time’s the Charm for Centralization of NJ Mirena Lawsuits

In a notice published yesterday, the New Jersey Supreme Court has reversed its prior refusal to centralize New Jersey state court lawsuits involving Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals’ Mirena contraceptive device, and has decided to centralize all such pending suits before Judge Brian Martinotti in Bergen County. As we noted previously, Bayer submitted an application last year seeking centralization of its Mirena litigation in Middlesex County, but its request was denied several months ago.  In March, Bayer resubmitted its application, and comments supporting the application were…

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Tylenol Subject of Latest New Jersey Centralized Management Request

Suits alleging liver damage from acetaminophen are the latest subject of a request for centralized management in New Jersey.  Late last month, McNeil-PPC and Johnson & Johnson submitted an application seeking centralized management of all pending New Jersey lawsuits involving alleged liver damage from Tylenol products. The application, which comes on the heels of the establishment of a federal Multi-District Litigation for similar suits pending in the federal courts, seeks centralization of all New Jersey Tylenol cases in Middlesex County before Judge Mayer, rather than…

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Reconsideration Sought for Multi-County Litigation Denial

Previously, we noted that the New Jersey Supreme Court denied an application by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for centralized management of all New Jersey claims involving the Mirena contraceptive device.  Currently, there is an application for reconsideration pending before the New Jersey Supreme Court, again seeking designation of this growing litigation as a Multi-County Litigation.  However, while both Bayer and plaintiffs have sought reconsideration — and thus appear to agree that centralization is appropriate — the sides may differ on where they want that…

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