Blessing v. Johnson & Johnson, 206 N.J. 36 (2011).

Misti Blessing, the plaintiff, filed a complaint on May 31, 2007 alleging that the defendants’ Panacryl sutures, which were used on her cesarean section incision on August 10, 2001, caused her injuries that necessitated surgery in March 2002. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment based on a two-year statute of limitations, which the Superior Court granted and the Appellate Division affirmed. Plaintiff appealed, and the Supreme Court accepted the case and held oral arguments.

As an amici, NJCJI argued that the lower courts correctly ruled that plaintiff’s claims for compensation for injuries were untimely under New Jersey’s statute of limitations. Under New Jersey’s discovery rule, the plaintiff should have reasonably known at the time of the injury that her injuries may have been caused by the product. The brief explains that the proper application of the discovery rule encourages prompt resolution of claims, which balances the need for redress of harms with the state’s interest in fostering a thriving pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

The high court never issued a decision, as the case was dismissed after parties entered into binding arbitration under a settlement agreement.