United States District Court, S.D. New York
April 27, 2004.
DONNA M. PAVLOU, et al. Plaintiffs, -against- BAXTER HEALTHCARE CORP., et al., Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD HOLWELL, District Judge
Memorandum Opinion and Order
This case, a latex glove product liability action, was one of many
cases consolidated for pre-trial discovery before the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania by the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation. It was
later remanded back to the Southern District of New York pursuant to
another Judicial Panel order, dated February 23, 2003, and referred for
general pre-trial management to the Honorable Kevin N. Fox, United States
Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York.
Plaintiffs object to part of Judge Fox's order, dated February 27,
2004, which limits the persons that plaintiffs may depose and also the
topics of the depositions. Like plaintiffs' objections to past orders of
Judge Fox, plaintiffs again argue that Judge Fox's order wrongly
precludes plaintiffs from conducting discovery into general issues, which
plaintiffs argue is contrary to certain Multidistrict Litigation ("MDL")
orders, and deprives them of due process. Defendants oppose modification
of the February 27 order on the same grounds as past opposition, namely
that common fact and general expert discovery was completed before the MDL judge and should not be duplicated
by this Court on remand from the MDL panel.
A district court reviews orders issued by a magistrate judge regarding
nondispositive pretrial matters under the "clearly erroneous or contrary
to law" standard. See Thomas E. Hoar, Inc. v. Sara Lee Corp., 900 F.2d 522,
525 (2d Cir. 1990). "It is well-settled that a magistrate judge's
resolution of a nondispositive matter should be afforded substantial
deference and may be overturned only if found to have been an abuse of
discretion." Rmed Int'l, Inc. v. Sloan's Supermarkets, Inc., No. 94 Civ.
5587 (PKL), 2000 WL 420548, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 18, 2000).
Consistent with this Court's prior ruling declining to modify the
January 16 order, the Court again declines to modify or set aside that
portion of the February 27 order to which plaintiffs object Plaintiffs
had sufficient opportunity to seek discovery during the MDL proceedings.
To rule otherwise would undermine the MDL proceedings.
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