Important Choice of Law Decisions Coming From the Supreme Court

Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that it had granted review in Ginsberg v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc., 441 N.J. Super. 198 (App. Div. 2015), briefly summarized here.  (Confirming that nobody is perfect, the website showed the plaintiff’s name as “Ginsburg”).  “The question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office is “Are the various claims and defenses asserted in this litigation governed by the laws of New York, New Jersey, or some combination thereof?”  That question summarizes a raft of intricate choice of law issues that the Court will face.

On November 20, the Court granted review in McCarrell v. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., 2015 N.J. Super. LEXIS Unpub. 1925 (App. Div. Aug. 11, 2015).  There, the Appellate Division reversed, on statute of limitations grounds, a plaintiff’s jury verdict in a case involving the drug Accutane.  The question presented there, as phrased by the Clerk’s Office, is “Should the timeliness of plaintiff’s product liability claim be assessed under New Jersey law, which allows for the equitable tolling of statutes of limitations under ‘discovery rule’ principles, or the law of plaintiff’s state of residence, which disallows such tolling?”  To some extent, the case is a sequel to Cornett v. Johnson & Johnson, 211 N.J. 362 (2012) [Disclosure:  I argued that case for the plaintiffs], discussed here.

Thus, within the last thirty days, the Court took on two significant choice of law appeals.  Choice of law aficionados will have much to look forward to from those cases.

Leave a Reply