A New Jersey judge in the Aredia/Zometa state court cases found that a Zometa plaintiff’s lawsuit had been dismissed, applying Virginia’s statute of limitations.
The facts of this case are, like many of the other in the Aredia/Zometa cases, sad. Plaintiff, a resident of Virginia, developed osteonecrosis of the jaw after allegedly receiving infusions of Zometa.
Everyone agreed that Virginia’s substantive law applied. The court found that, if the substantive law of Virginia governs plaintiff’s damage claims, the defendant has the right to assert applicable affirmative defenses under Virginia law.
At no additional charge, the court threw in a little lecture for plaintiffs:
Statutes of limitations are enacted to provide certainty for litigants and to prevent the litigation of stale claims. Judicial cherry picking whereby a litigant argues simultaneously in favor of two separate states’ period of limitations, as [plaintiff does] in this case, threatens to render statutes of limitations meaningless.
You can find the court’s opinion here.