Judge Herndon has set the initial trial schedules for the first three cases to be tried in federal court in East St. Louis, Illinois. The first trial will be a VTE case (venous thrombotic event, such as a pulmonary embolism). The second case will be a gall bladder case, and the third case will be another VTE case.
The first trial is set for September 12, 2011, the second January 9, 2012, and the third case April 20, 2012. This will require an extraordinary level of work to get the cases prepared. Bayer still has not produce many documents, and many that were produced were improperly redacted, requiring duplication of effort and delay.
Selection of these bellwether cases is to be made by October 27, 2010. Each side will submit 25 cases, 13 VTE cases and 12 gallbladder cases, forming a pool of 50 cases from which the selection of the three will be made. If a case is selected and there is no completed Plaintiff Fact Sheet, the case may be dismissed without prejudice.
Discovery in the 50 selected cases will begin November 1st, and must be completed by March 14, 2011. Thereafter the Plaintiffs and Defendants will each pick three cases for each of the three trial dates, and the Court will then select three cases from the proposed group. So there will be three cases set for each of the three trial dates. In this way there will be back up cases in case the first scheduled case cannot proceed.
The schedule also contains dates for expert reports and other deadlines. All in all it is a very thorough and aggressive schedule that will require a tremendous amount of work.