Shoulder Chondrolysis Lawsuit Consolidation in New Jersey Being Reviewed

Lawyers have asked that dozens of shoulder pain pump lawsuits pending in New Jersey state court be consolidated before one judge for centralized management.

The request was filed on November 30, 2009, by lawyers representing plaintiffs who have cases pending in New Jersey Superior Court over problems caused by shoulder pain pumps used after arthroscopic surgery. At the time of the request, there were 15 shoulder pump lawsuits already pending in Middlesex County, and at least 16 other cases in federal court that were subject to remand to the state.

To avoid duplicative discovery and inconsistent rulings, the attorneys requested that all cases currently pending, as well as any subsequently filed or remanded from federal court, be centralized before one judge for coordinated management.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

The cases all involve similar allegations that the use of infusion pumps to deliver a combination of pain medications directly into the shoulder joint during the days following arthroscopic surgery caused plaintiffs to suffer progressive destruction of their shoulder cartilage, known as shoulder chondrolysis. This can cause new shoulder problems to develop during the months after surgery, including reduced range of motion, pain, clicking and popping in the shoulder joint, potentially resulting in the need for a shoulder replacement surgery.

The New Jersey Supreme Court posted a notice to the state bar on December 11 regarding the application for centralized management of the shoulder pain pump litigation in the state. The notice indicates that anyone wishing to comment on or object to the application should provide comments to the Acting Administrative Director of the Courts by January 31, 2010.

In addition to the cases pending in New Jersey state court, there are hundreds of other shoulder chondrolysis lawsuits pending against the manufacturers of the pain pumps in other states and federal courts throughout the United States.

A similar request to consolidate all shoulder pump lawsuits in federal court, through a procedure known as a multidistrict litigation (MDL), was denied by a panel of federal judges in August 2008. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation indicated that consolidation of the cases at that time was not appropriate because an indeterminate number of pain pumps made by different companies were at issue.

Since that time, the number of cases pending in federal court has grown, and discovery issues and inconsistent pretrial rulings in cases being handled by different judges have occurred. Last month, lawyers representing plaintiffs with cases in federal court filed a request for reconsideration with the MDL panel, which is expected to be considered later this month at a meeting in Miami.

In New Jersey state court, mass tort treatment may be afforded in complex litigation involving a large number of claims that are associated with a single product, where the cases involve similar issues of fact and law. The centralization process is designed to avoid repetitive and burdensome discovery, avoid inconsistent rulings from different judges in different counties and to promote judicial economy.

Lawyers with New Jersey cases have requested that the state court litigation be centralized in Middlesex County before Judge Jessica Mayer, as she is already involved in several of the pending shoulder pain pump cases and is familiar with issues that may arise during the litigation.

Image Credit: |


Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Gilead Settlement Resolves 2,625 HIV Drug Lawsuits Pending in Federal Courts for $40M
Gilead Settlement Resolves 2,625 HIV Drug Lawsuits Pending in Federal Courts for $40M (Posted yesterday)

Gilead says it will pay $40 million to resolve HIV drug lawsuits over Truvada, Atripla, Viread, Stribild and Complera pending in the federal court system, involving claims that the the company sat on safer formulations of the drugs for years to increase profits.

Gardasil Vaccine Lawsuits Being Prepared For Early Test Trials in Federal MDL
Gardasil Vaccine Lawsuits Being Prepared For Early Test Trials in Federal MDL (Posted 2 days ago)

In advance of a a conference this week, lawyers report that progress is being made to prepare a group of federal Gardasil vaccine lawsuits for early test trials, to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.