The Flores Case And The Sessner Case Involve Incidents Of ONJ Jaw Injury, Not The Femur Fracture Side Effect
UPDATE: During pretrial hearings Judge Higbee severed the Flores case from the Sessner case. Opening statements for the Sessner case will take place Monday, March 5. The Flores case will now go to trial in June 2012.
Further, Merck's Motion for Summary Judgment (MSJ) in the Sessner case was denied, meaning that this trial will proceed on the theories of failure to warn and design defect.
These two Orders by Judge Higbee were issued from the bench, the severance ruling on February 28 and the MDJ denial on February 29.
The trial for two Fosamax lawsuits -- Jo Ann Sessner vs. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., ATL-L-3394-11 (MT) and Amelia Flores vs. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.,ATL-L-744-09 (MT) -- is scheduled to start in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County, on February 27, 2012. Judge Carol Higbee will be presiding over this NJ state court Fosamax trial.
According to her January 26, 2012 Case Mangagement Order (CMO), jury selection will begin on February 29, 2012 and opening statments will be on March 1, 2012. As seen at the end of this January 26 CMO, Judge Higbee has set certain time limitations on opening statements (two hours for each side) and has also limited the amount of time that attorneys for the plaintiffs and the defendant will have to present their respective evidence as regards the Flores case and the Sessner case.
These Sessner and Flores Fosamax lawsuits in the New Jersey state court Mass Tort "consolidation" involve the serious jaw injury osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).
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As for what is going on in the federal court Fosamax MDL for ONJ jaw injury cases, in late 2011 United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Keenan established this trial schedule for 2012:
Boles v. Merck & Co., Inc., 06 Civ. 9455 (JFK), is set for trial on damages on March 26, 2012;
Jellema v. Merck & Co., Inc., 09 Civ. 4282 (JFK), is scheduled for trial on May 7, 2012; and,
Spano v. Merck & Co., Inc., 09 Civ. 6948 (JFK), is scheduled for trial on September 10, 2012.
About a month later, Judge Keenan issued a second Order in which he appointed John D. Feerick, Esq., Dean Emeritus of the Fordham University School of Law, as the Special Settlement Master for the entire Fosamax ONJ MDL litigation.
More details about those developments can be found in our earlier article, "Fosamax Osteonecrosis Of The Jaw (ONJ) Federal Court MDL Litigation: A Mixed Forecast For 2012".
Returning to the New Jersey Fosamax litigation, we will be monitoring the Sessner / Flores ONJ jaw injury trial and report its outcome here as soon as it becomes available.
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Feb. 27, 2012 - Merck, known outside the United States and Canada as MSD, will vigorously defend itself in a jury trial set to begin today in the Superior Court for Atlantic County, New Jersey.
Merck believes the evidence will show that FOSAMAX® (alendronate sodium) did not cause the two plaintiffs, whose cases are being tried together, to develop dental and jaw-related problems as they claim, and that the company provided appropriate and timely information about FOSAMAX to the medical, scientific and regulatory communities. In Flores v. Merck and Sessner v. Merck, the plaintiffs allege they used FOSAMAX and suffered various jaw problems and complications following multiple tooth extractions....
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