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NOTICE TO THE BAR

Reassignment of HRT Mass Tort to Middlesex

A notice was previously published advising of the Supreme Courtís September 14, 2004 designation of all pending and future litigation involving alleged injuries arising out of the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs as a mass tort and assignment of that mass tort to Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higbee in the Atlantic Vicinage for coordinated statewide management. This Notice is to advise that the Supreme Court has reassigned this designated mass tort to the Middlesex Vicinage to be handled by Superior Court Judge Bryan D. Garruto. A copy of the Courtís January 10, 2006 reassignment order is published with this Notice.

Any questions concerning this matter may be directed to the following:

Michelle V. Perone, Esq.
Chief, Civil Court Programs
Administrative Office of the Courts
Hughes Justice Complex; P.O. Box 981
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0981
Tel. No. (609) 984-5431
Email address: michelle.perone@judiciary.state.nj.us

Philip S. Carchman, J.A.D. Dated: January 25, 2006
Acting Administrative Director of the Courts


SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY ORDER

The Court having previously by Order of September 14, 2004 designated all pending and future actions seeking damages or other relief arising out of alleged injuries from the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs as a mass tort for centralized case management purposes and having by that order transferred and assigned all such cases to the Superior Court, Law Division, Atlantic County (Vicinage 1) for management purposes;

It is hereby ORDERED that the provisions of that September 14, 2004 Order are modified such that any and all such complaints shall be transferred to Superior Court, Law Division, Middlesex County (Vicinage No. 8), and assigned for management purposes to the Honorable Bryan D. Garruto; and

It is FURTHER ORDERED that venue in all HRT cases is transferred to Middlesex County; and that, pursuant to N.J.Const. (1947), Art. VI, sec. 2, par. 3, the provisions of Rule 4:3-2 governing venue in the Superior Court are supplemented and relaxed so that all future such complaints, no matter where they might be venued, shall be filed in Middlesex County and assigned to Judge Garruto for management; and

It is FURTHER ORDERED that Judge Garruto shall oversee all management and trial issues for such cases and may, in his discretion, return such cases to the original county of venue for disposition; and

It is FURTHER ORDERED that no Special Master may be appointed in this litigation without the express approval of the Chief Justice.

For the Court
Deborah T. Poritz
Dated: January 10, 2006

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