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IN RE "AGENT ORANGE" PRODUCT LIABILITY LITIGATION

United States District Court, E.D. New York


March 19, 2004.

In re: "AGENT ORANGE" PRODUCT LIABILITY LITIGATION; THE VIETNAM ASSOCIATION FOR VICTIMS OF AGENT ORANGE/DIOXIN, et al., Plaintiffs -against- DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY, et al., Defendants; DANIEL RAYMOND STEPHENSON, et al., Plaintiffs -against- DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY, et al., Defendants; JOE ISAACSON and PHILLIS LISA TSAACSON, Plaintiffs -against- DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY, et al., Defendants

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JACK WEINSTEIN, Senior District Judge

ORDER

Pursuant to oral orders at the hearing of March 18, 2004, all discovery except that dealing with causation of alleged injuries will be completed expeditiously. Causation discovery is stayed to avoid what may prove to be unnecessary expense. See, e.g., In re "Agent Orange" Prod. Liab. Litig., 2004 WL 231180 (E.D.N.Y. 2004) ("[I]t is useful to minimize the burden of a litigation by resolving it on a theory requiring the least expense and consumption of time even though another theory could be established by the available proof.").

  All preliminary motions directed at the pleadings or for summary judgment will be returnable on or before September 10, 2004. It is the intention to have vital preliminary issues, except for causation, before the Court of Appeals in six months by certification or appeal.

  In response to plaintiffs Isaacsons' request, defendants and the United States shall cooperate with plaintiffs in supplying up to six complete deposition transcripts utilized in non-MDL 381 cases claimed by plaintiffs to shed light on relevant knowledge of defendants. The magistrate judge shall intervene if the parties cannot accommodate each other.

  The magistrate judge's order of March 2, 2004 limiting discovery is otherwise affirmed with the understanding that it can be modified to assist the parties to meet the accelerated discovery process.

  SO ORDERED.

20040319

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