Recent developments in the Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits pending in New Jersey state court offer a glimpse of how litigation against drugmaker Merck & Co. in that state might progress.
To recap, Fosamax femur fracture and Fosamax osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) lawsuits have been consolidated before Judge Carol E. Higbee of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Atlantic County. Judge Higbee is currently overseeing 185 Fosamax ONJ lawsuits and 167 Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits. Despite significant differences between femur injuries and jaw bone injuries caused by Fosamax that will necessitate the two types of cases receiving distinct considerations, they were consolidated for the purpose of judicial efficiency.
In what was perhaps an effort to alleviate concerns about her overseeing both Fosamax femur fracture and ONJ cases, Judge Higbee described during a conference last month projected timelines for the cases’ progression. The cases are in different stages of litigation (one ONJ lawsuit has already been tried), and the dates projected for their litigation reflect this. For example, during the May 26 hearing Higbee pushed for December 2011 and February 2012 trial dates for ONJ cases, and it appears likely that four of the cases will be tried during that time frame.
Higbee additionally laid out a tentative plan for trying a fosamax femur fracture lawsuit, saying that she’d like to see the first of them tried next spring. To this end, Higbee stated the importance of a timely discovery process (whereby information for the cases are gather and shared among counsel), a process that predates the actual Fosamax trials. If the projected timeline holds true, Fosamax femur fracture plaintiffs could give depositions (sworn statements) this August, followed by their doctors in September and October. This puts the trial dates for the femur lawsuits somewhere around the beginning of next year.
On a national scale, Fosamax femur fracture and ONJ lawsuits have also been consolidated, although separately. Fosamax ONJ MDL has been ongoing since 2006, while Fosamax femur MDL was approved just last month. It will be overseen by Judge Garrett E. Brown, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The MDL, to date, consists of 40 separate actions filed in 14 districts, though it is likely that many more cases will be added to the multidistrict litigation.
If you or a loved one suffered an abnormal femur fracture that you suspect was caused by Fosamax use, you could be eligible to file a claim against Merck. Through a Fosamax femur fracture lawsuit, you may be able to obtain compensation for your thigh bone injury. To find out, contact the Rottenstein Law Group for a complimentary case review by filling out this form or calling 1 (877) 332-2347.