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Stark and Stark, along with its co-counsel Barry, Corrado, Grassi & Gillin-Schwartz, have filed a class action on behalf of thousands of potential female class members against the New Jersey Department of Corrections (“NJDOC”), over the intolerable conditions at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women (“EMCFW”).

NJDOC is a public entity that maintains an annual budget of roughly $1 billion; approximately 8,000 employees; 13 correctional institutions; and nearly 23,000 state-sentenced offenders housed in prisons, county jails, and community halfway houses. NJDOC is responsible for the day-to-day operations, supervision, and management of EMCFW. In 2017, EMCFW had an operational capacity of 846 persons and an average daily population of 659. The daily expense per inmate was $202.15, and the yearly per capita was $73,785.00.[1]

EMCFW, formerly known as the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women, is located at 30 Route 513, in Clinton, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Opened in 1913, EMCFW was named after one of the first female correctional superintendents in the United States. According to the official NJDOC website description, EMCFW “houses state-sentenced female offenders. The prison provides a campus-like setting with housing units and various support buildings. In terms of security designation, there are two compounds – minimum and maximum/medium. There is a third housing compound for inmates with varying classifications of special mental health needs. Programming includes counseling as well as education and vocational opportunities.”[2] EMCFW is the only women’s correctional facility in New Jersey, providing custody and treatment programs for female offenders 16 years of age and older.

For decades, there has been a recognized and documented environment of rampant and unchecked sexual assault and harassment of female inmates by prison employees, agents and administrators, as well as other inmates, throughout state and federal corrections systems.
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The United States Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (MDL) is scheduled to meet on July 28, 2011, in San Francisco, CA to hear further argument on whether all federal Darvocet and Darvon cases should be centralized, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 1407, for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings, and if so, which federal district is the appropriate forum for these proceedings.
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DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has yet to issue a recall for its Pinnacle system. However, similar to the recalled ASR models, there are concerns that the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, also a metal-on-metal implant device, might have significant design defects leading to a higher than normal failure rate. DePuy has reportedly sold over 150,000 Pinnacle hip implant systems, largely outselling the ASR models. As of last month, the FDA had received more than 1,300 “adverse events reports” with regard to the Pinnacle system.
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As we have previously reported, DePuy Orthopedic, Inc., a subdivision of Johnson & Johnson, Inc., issued a recall in August 2010, for the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System after data suggested that about one out of every eight may fail within only five years. Specifically, the recall targeted individuals who received the implants after July 2003.
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The Hon. Rodney W. Sippel, U.S.D.J., presides over the federal multi-district litigation in the Eastern District of Missouri addressing claims against NuvaRing®. Judge Sippel held a case management conference on February 14, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. wherein Plaintiffs addressed the possibility of naming an additional defendant, NV Organon. Judge Sippel Ordered Defendants to respond to Plaintiffs’ stipulation by March 16, 2011.
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In August of 2010, DePuy, a Johnson & Johnson company, announced a global hip replacement recall of two devices: the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular System. Data from a recent study concerning XL Acetabular metal-on-metal hip replacement system showed that the 5 year failure rate of the product is approximately 13%, or 1 in 8 patients. It has identified component loosening, component malalignment, fracture of the bone, dislocation, infection, metal sensitivity and pain as the reasons for the failure of the hip replacement system.
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On December 16, 2010, counsel attended a Case Management Conference before Judge Martinotti in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey. It was agreed that counsel will continue to work together to depose, or question, the necessary witnesses from defendant Bayer Corporation, both domestically and internationally. Additionally, plaintiffs were granted authority to file a motion with the Court, seeking to compel the production of foreign personnel files from employees noticed for deposition, which the defendants argue is prohibited under German law. The motion is expected to be heard in early 2011.
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A large number of YAZ® lawsuits were designated as Mass Tort or Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) cases over the past several months. Just recently, the three initial bellwether trials in the federal MDL were scheduled. Courts utilize a bellwether approach when there are a large numbers of plaintiffs proceeding on the same theory or claim, such as in the Yaz ® cases. Typically, a group of plaintiffs are chosen to represent all the plaintiffs with the same alleged ailment.
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A large number of claims against the makers of defective birth control products, YAZ®, Yasmin® and Ocella®, for injuries ranging from internal organ damage to deep vein thrombosis have been designated as Mass Tort cases in state court, to be consolidated for case management and discovery purposes before Judge Moss in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. In the Mass Tort, counsel recently argued before Judge Moss regarding discovery issues.
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As we have discussed in previous posts, studies have shown that the ingredients contained in YAZ®, Yasmin® and Ocella® have been linked to various forms of severe side-effects. Reportedly, these side-effects include: heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (also known as DVT or blood clots), internal organ damage (including gallbladder damage), myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism. Recently, a large number of YAZ® lawsuits have been designated as Mass Tort or Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) cases.
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