Centralization Sought in NJ for Lawsuits over DuraPro Toilet Supply Lines
The New Jersey Supreme Court has been asked to consolidate and centralize all lawsuits in the state over DuraPro toilet supply line failures, which have caused severe property damage in dozens of homes.
According to a Notice to the Bar (PDF) posted by the Acting Administrative Director of the Courts in New Jersey last month, an application has been received to designate all DuraPro Brand Toilet Supply Line lawsuits as a Multi-County Litigation, or MCL, asking that cases filed throughout the state be centralized before one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
The request (PDF) was originally filed on May 31, indicating that at least nine complaints have been filed as a result of 135 separate property damage claims associated with DuraPro toilet supply line failures.
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Each of the lawsuits involve insurer subrogation claims for property damage caused by DuraPro toilet supply lines, which have polymeric coupling nuts that allegedly crack and fail during normal use. As a result of the toilet supply lines failing, home owners have suffered severe water damage from the leaks.
Defendants in the litigation include Interline Brands, Inc., MTD (USA) Corporation, Watts Water Technologies, Watts Plumbing Technoligies (Taizhou) Co., Ltd., Watts Regulator Co., Linx Ltd., and Everlotus Industries Corporation.
Plaintiffs argue that consolidation of the cases under one New Jersey judge will help prevent duplicative discovery, inconsistent rulings and serve the conveniences of witnesses, defendants and the courts. The request indicates that the damage in all of the cases is virtually identical, and all of the claims appear to be caused by the same problem.
The request also indicates that the case will require specialized expertise and a dedicated mass tort judge and staff, asking for the cases to be consolidated Atlantic County.
Parties seeking to comment or object to the motion have until July 12 to file with the office of Glenn A. Grant, acting administrative director of the courts.
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