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Nehrt v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 25, 2017

WILLIAM NEHRT, Plaintiff,
v.
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS, LP, et al., Defendants. IRMA COLEMAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS, LP, et al., Defendants. JOHN ROSENSTEEL, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS, LP, et al., Defendants. NICHOLAS SKAGGS, II, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS, LP, et al., Defendants.

          SCHEDULING AND DISCOVERY ORDER

          David R. Herndon UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The Court held a scheduling conference with the parties on April 24, 2017 regarding cases Nehrt v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, et al., 17-cv-129; Coleman, et al., v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, et al., 17-cv-130; Rosensteel, et al., v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, et al., 17-cv-131; Skaggs II, et al., v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, et al., 17-cv-132; and Dravland v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, et al., 17-cv-133. At the conference, it was apparent the parties did not agree on many deadlines. To progress the litigation, the Court informed the litigants that it would prepare a Scheduling and Discovery Order by the following day, unless the parties could work together and create a mutually agreed upon order. On April 25, 2017, as the Court was preparing to docket its order, the parties e-mailed certain agreed upon discovery dates. The dates submitted by the parties have been incorporated here, displacing the Court's chosen dates.

         Having considered the information presented at the conference and submissions from all plaintiffs and defendants regarding the non-agreed upon discovery dates and protocols, the Court now enters the following order.

         Litigation Hold

         At the scheduling conference, counsel for each defendant indicated that his or her client has responded promptly to Rule 26 by voluntarily placing a company-wide litigation hold on relevant documents and data. The plaintiffs state they have a custom and practice of doing so.

         In addition to the defendants' voluntary undertakings, the defendants are formally ordered by the Court to hold and preserve any of the following items as they can be interpreted relevant to the products which are the subject of this litigation from the time those products first entered the research and development phase throughout this litigation:

Any documents, data, files, computers, materials, emails, text messages, custodial files, letters, governmental reports, expert reports, testing data, testing results, complaints, adverse event reports, NDAs and supporting documentation, and any and all documentation of any description as broadly interpreted as that.

         In addition to the plaintiffs' voluntary undertakings, the plaintiffs are formally ordered by the Court to hold and preserve:

All medical records, notes, journals and diaries of relevant information, all medical billing and pharmacy records, all receipts showing purchases of subject matter products, all computers and hard drives which contain any medical information or data containing any information about doctors' visits or information relevant to the claims made in the complaints on file in this court.

         Presumptive Trial Date

         Despite many inconsistencies between the parties' proposed scheduling and discovery orders, counsel did manage to agree, pursuant to SDIL-LR 16.1, to assign a “Track D” to these five cases. However, Rule16.1(a) makes it clear that the judge assigned to a case will track the case and assign a presumptive trial month based on the range of dates established by that track. It further states that “only proposed class actions will be assigned to Track ‘D.'” Logically then, these five cases cannot be set on Track D.

         Given the complexity of this litigation, the Court assigns Track C to each of these cases and will utilize the upper end of the Track C range of 15 - 18 months for setting a presumptive trial month. Thus, the presumptive trial month is set for August of 2018. The specific trial date shall be set on or before the final pretrial conference and incorporated into the final pretrial order (when required by the presiding judge) per Rule 16.1.

         Meet and Confer Requirement

         All parties are required to meet and confer prior to filing any motion pertaining to any discovery disputes or any motions not otherwise scheduled on this order. The concept of meet and confer requires a good faith effort by all parties. Clearly, the Court cannot order a party to abandon a principle or a position that it believes in or pursues because it feels to do otherwise will prejudice it or place it at a strategic disadvantage. However, refusing to negotiate or give up ground ...


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