New Jersey is home to many mass torts – asbestos, HRT, Ortho evra, NuvaRing, Vioxx, Fosamax, Accutane, and Bextra/Celebrex – to name a few. With plaintiffs filing numerous cases in the Garden State, it is easy to fall into the mindset that New Jersey is for plaintiffs. Do not get caught in that trap and become complacent, filing rote motions and litigating on autopilot. With the right strategy and tactics, New Jersey can be for defendants too. Here are 10 tips for defending mass torts in New Jersey:
1. Stop a Mass Tort Before It Starts
Challenge the mass tort designation pursuant to Rule 4:38A. The latter states, "[t]he Supreme Court may designate a case or category of cases as a mass tort to receive centralized management in accordance with criteria and procedures promulgated by the Administrative Director of the Courts upon approval by the Court. Promulgation of the criteria and procedures will include posting in the Mass Tort Information Center on the Judiciary's Internet website (www.judiciary.state.nj.us)." The procedures require all interested parties to be served, as well as a Notice to the Bar to appear in legal newspapers and on the Mass Tort website.
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