Bartolini et al v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc
NOTICE AND ORDER RE: APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL MASTER. The Court intends to appoint a Special Master for the upcoming May 23, 2017 trial. The parties shall file any objections to the Court's intent to appoint the Honorable Daniel J. Stack as Special Master in this case on or before April 3, 2017. Judge Stack is directed file an affidavit directed to his experience and any potential conflicts on or before March 30, 2017. Signed by Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel on 3/27/2017. (jmw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
J.F., a minor by BEATRICE SIFUENTES
individually as next friend of J.F.,
E.R.G., a minor by CHRISTINA
RAQUEL individually as next friend of
ABBOTT LABORATORIES, INC.,
Case No. 14-CV-847-NJR-SCW
Case No. 15-CV-702-NJR-SCW
ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge:
The next jury trial in the Depakote mass action will begin on May 23, 2017. Raquel,
Sifuentes, Pyszkowski (E.P.), and Pyszkowski (C.P.) were selected as possible cases for the
May 2017 slot. On several prior occasions, the Court has discussed the use of a Special
Master to assist in preparation for trial. The need for assistance is directly related to the
parties’ presentation method in the current Depakote trials. For example, the latest
Depakote trial in the Northern District of Ohio utilized “roughly 20 or so” video
depositions. (Case No. 12-CV-52, Doc. 797, pp. 10-11). Such a large amount of video
testimony will undoubtedly result in a multitude of deposition designations and
objections that must be resolved before the trial can progress. Additionally, the
concomitant preparation of several cases for the same trial slot will exponentially
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increase the volume of deposition designations that must be resolved within the same
window usually occupied by one single case.
Given the massive and complicated workload the parties will be generating, the
Court is strongly inclined to: (1) appoint the Honorable Daniel J. Stack 1 as Special
Master in this case, and (2) direct him to provide recommended rulings on some of the
pretrial motions, including deposition designations, as well as other issues that may
arise before trial. The Court urges the parties’ to consent to this appointment, pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53(a)(1)(A); however, it appears present
circumstances may make this appointment appropriate even without party consent,
pursuant to Rule 53(a)(1)(C). 2
Judge Stack is directed file an affidavit directed to his experience and any
potential conflicts on or before March 30, 2017. The parties shall file any objections to the
Court’s intent to appoint the Honorable Daniel J. Stack as Special Master in this case to
perform the duties outlined above on or before April 3, 2017. 3
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: March 27, 2017
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL
United States District Judge
Judge Stack’s contact information is: The Honorable Daniel J. Stack, 711 N. 11th St., St. Louis, Missouri
63101; firstname.lastname@example.org; 618-792-8604; http://aequitasadr.com/team/daniel-j-stack/.
2 Rule 53(a)(1)(A) states the Court may appoint a Special Master to “perform duties consented to by the
parties.” Rule 53(a)(1)(C) adds the Court may appoint a Special Master to “address pretrial and posttrial
matters that cannot be effectively and timely addressed by an available district judge or magistrate judge
of the district,” even without party consent.
3 “Before appointing a master, the Court must give the parties notice and an opportunity to be heard.”
FED. R. CIV. P. 53(b)(1).
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