On April 24, 2019, the second Case Management Conference (CMC) in the Valsartan Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) before Judge Kugler in Camden, New Jersey was conducted. As part of the agenda, the Court sought to finalize the leadership structure for plaintiffs and defendants. Accordingly, partner, Stefanie Colella-Walsh, has been named as one of the attorneys on Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
Plaintiffs’ leadership advised the Court that it intends on creating multiple committees to concentrate on particular aspects of the various litigations, such as law and briefing, science, discovery, and likely others as the cases develop.
During the April CMC, the parties also discussed continuing issues involving the service of the Complaints on the foreign defendants via the Hague Convention. It is estimated that there are currently more than 40 named defendants, but it is expected that certain defendants may eventually be dismissed or defended through indemnification, in an effort to streamline the litigation. Judge Kugler invited both sides to file briefs to have the service issues decided by the Court.
Furthermore, the parties are currently meeting and conferring regarding the initial discovery productions and a proposed Plaintiff Profile Form (a series of questions for plaintiffs to provide key, basic information concerning their medical history and treatment). Additionally, Plaintiffs’ Master Long Form Complaint was adopted by the Court, with the intention to develop a Short Form Complaint by the next CMC, currently scheduled at the end of May 2019. Plaintiffs currently plan on filing cases for personal injury claims, economic reimbursement, and third-party payer claims. A class action for medical monitoring has also been filed. The entering of these Complaints will enable plaintiffs to more easily file in the MDL.