It is hereby ORDERED that, in the matter of all pending and future litigation seeking damages or other relief arising out of alleged environmental contamination by Ciba Geigy, all complaints that have been filed in the various counties and that are under case management or in discovery or awaiting case management and discovery are transferred from the county of venue to Superior Court, Law Division, Middlesex County (Vicinage No.8), and assigned for management to the Honorable Marina Corodemus;
It is FURTHER ORDERED that venue in all existing Ciba Geigy litigation as specified above is transferred to Middlesex County (Vicinage No.8); and
It is FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to N.J. Const. (1947), Art.VI, sec.2, par.3, Rule 4:3-2 governing venue in the Superior Court is supplemented and relaxed so that all future complaints of this type, no matter where they might arise, shall be filed in Middlesex County (Vicinage No.8) and assigned for management to the Honorable Marina Corodemus; and
It is FURTHER ORDERED that Judge Corodemus, with the assistance of a Special Master previously appointed with approval of the Chief Justice, shall oversee all pretrial case management and discovery for such cases and shall decide when such cases are ready for trial in a venue to be determined; and
It is FURTHER ORDERED that no Ciba Geigy cases as specified above shall be tried except on application to Judge Corodemus for good cause shown;
The provisions of this Order are effective immediately and until further Order of the Court.
For the Court,
/s/ Deborah T. Poritz
Accompanying the publication of this Notice to the Bar is a copy of an Order dated January 12, 2001 signed by Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz. The Order designates all pending and future litigation statewide involving the alleged Ciba Geigy environmental contamination as a mass tort. It also transfers the pretrial management of all such cases to Middlesex County to be handled on a coordinated basis by the Honorable Marina Corodemus with the assistance of a special master previously appointed by the Chief Justice.
Dated: January 18, 2001
Richard J. Williams
Administrative Director of the Courts