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IN RE ZYPREXA PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION

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

ORDER

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.

  SO ORDERED.

20051104

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