Saturday, September 6, 2014

Merk's Federal Femur Fracture Fosamax® MDL Cases Ordered To Mediation

The very capable New Jersey federal District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano has ordered the plaintiffs' steering committee counsels to meet and confer with Merck's lawyers -- to select a neutral mediator, and (impliedly) to get this matter resolved quickly and economically.

That's good news for Merck's chances of extricating itself from this mess quickly, but may ultimately reduce the size of any settlement. Truthfully, there is the real possibility of no recovery here, now -- for claimants. That is so due to the Judge's earlier summary rulings on preemption. Those rulings are now on appeal to the Second Circuit. Here's Thursday's order:

. . . .1. ORDER that this consolidated action as it pertains to the claims against Merck, are referred to mediation;

2. Ordering that the representatives from the Plaintiff's Steering Committee and Merck shall consult and reach an agreement on a mediator and provide that information to this Court within 30 days of the date of this Order;

3. The mediator may meet with counsel and parties jointly or ex parte. All information and submissions presented to the mediator shall be deemed confidential and shall be disclosed by the mediator only upon consent of counsel, except as necessary to advise the Court of an apparent failure to participate. The mediator shall not be subject to subpoena by any party. No statements made or documents prepared for mediation sessions shall be disclosed in any subsequent proceeding or be construed as an admission against interests.

4. The PSC and Merck shall provide the Court with a written status update concerning the mediation of this matter no later than 45 days after the selection of the Mediator.

Signed by Judge Joel A. Pisano on September 3, 2014. . . .

We willl keep the readership informed here. Have a great late summer Saturday -- in the glorious outdoors!

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