This morning the Appellate Division issued an important ruling in the ongoing litigation over Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.’s acne medication Accutane. The ruling brings to a close a case that has been bogging down the court system for over a decade, and sends a clear message that some choice of law questions are no longer open for debate.
Appellate Judges Sabatino, Simonelli, and Leone overturned a lower court ruling in a 2010 Accutane trial that allowed a plaintiff from Alabama to bring a case in New Jersey even though the case would have been barred in Alabama by that state’s statute of limitations.
“Every business in the state should be thanking Roche for having the guts to stick out this case,” said Marcus Rayner, the president of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute. “There is a lot of pressure to settle cases where the lower court is not handing out good rulings, and the defense costs are mounting, but this case shows the benefits of hanging in there when you know that the law should be on your side. It is now firmly settled that the choice of law principles laid down in Cornett apply across the board. Our courts should continue to rely on this line of cases to close the door to out-of-state plaintiffs forum shopping in New Jersey.”
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute (NJCJI) advocates for a civil justice system that treats all parties fairly and discourages lawsuit abuse. NJCJI and its members believe that a fair civil justice system resolves disputes expeditiously and impartially, based solely upon application of the law to the facts of each case. Such a system fosters public trust and motivates professionals, sole proprietors, and businesses to provide safe and reliable products and services while ensuring that truly injured people are fully compensated for their losses.