United States District Court, E.D. New York
November 4, 2005.
In re: ZYPREXA PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION. THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO: ALL ACTIONS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JACK WEINSTEIN, Senior District Judge
The court has Eli Lilly and Company's ("Lilly") letter of
November 3, 2005. Among its cogent management suggestions is: "we
urge the Court to direct plaintiffs' counsel, in advance of the
next hearing, to submit their plan for reorganization of the
[Plaintiff's Steering Committee] PSC." (Def.'s Letter at 2.)
The suggestion is, it is respectfully submitted, somewhat
premature. The estimated 250 thus far non-settling plaintiffs and
at least two dozen different plaintiffs' attorneys remaining in
the Multidistrict Litigation (Def's Letter at 1) may wish to
consider taking advantage of the proposed simplified three-track
settlement matrix being developed by the Special Settlement
Masters before assuming the heavy burden of "case-specific
discovery" and "core scientific and other case-dispositive issues
in these cases." (Def's Letter at 2.) Delay in reconstituting the
PSC may give those who have not yet settled an opportunity to
review the "over four million pages of materials, including paper
and electronic documents" (Def's Letter at 2) resulting from
discovery thus far before deciding on what procedure would be
appropriate for individual claimants. The Special Settlement Masters' plan may cut through the
Gordian knot of general and individual discovery, at enormous
saving of transactional costs and delays to the satisfaction of
almost everyone concerned.
Lilly's proposed Case Management Order to Effectuate the
Court's Goals (Def.'s Letter at 5-6) has much to commend it. But
it too may be capable of simplification or avoidance should the
Special Settlement Masters' proposals meet with the thus far
non-settling plaintiffs' approbation.
Lilly's objections to a "plaintiff-discovery special master"
(Def.'s Letter at 6-8) seem compelling.
The court looks forward to further discussion of these and
related issues at its next meeting with the distinguished counsel
conducting the litigation.
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