The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia U.S. Magistrate Judge United States District Court
ORDER FOLLOWING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
On August 27, 2007, the Court convened a Case Management Conference in the above entitled action. Appearing were Michael Lynch, Esq., Brian Barr, Esq. on behalf of plaintiff; Steve Darringer, Esq., Katherine Barrad, Esq. and Richard Dandrea, Esq. on behalf of defendants.
In advance of the conference, counsel prepared and submitted a joint case management order and a protective order. These will be issued separately.
This is one of 14 lawsuits filed, to date, concerning the drug Trasylol. The 14 cases are pending in various parts of the country, and others are expected to be filed. Some of the other cases are already underway and counsel have found that there are millions of documents that need to be produced by the defendants. Defense counsel is uniform Nationally. The parties are trying to coordinate depositions and discovery to avoid repeat settings and counsel have agreed to start the depositions in early 2008.
Service is also pending on Bayer AG and it is expected to be complete by early 2008. Bayer AG will have a host of additional documents and deposition requirements that will need to be addressed in the litigation.
The other cases are now set for trial starting in September 2009 and ranging through June 2010.
After extended discussion with the parties, it is clear that a lengthy schedule is necessary here to facilitate the coordination effort on the various cases and to orderly prepare the matter for what is shaping up to be a sequence of trials.
While the scheduling proposed by the parties is unusually long for this Court, counsel have sufficiently justified the need. Similar schedules have been adopted in the other cases to facilitate coordination. Therefore the Court will enter a Case Management Order as agreed by the parties without prejudice to later review or modification.
The Court and counsel discussed the prospect of settlement, and settlement cannot be pursued until the entire universe of potential plaintiffs are better estimated and the expert analysis of the issues in the litigation are more complete. The Court indicated its availability for settlement sessions as soon as the parties are ready to proceed.
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