An Overview of Lone Pine Orders in Toxic Tort Litigation: By Requiring Plaintiffs to Produce Early in Discovery the Specifics of Their Claims, Judicial Resources Are Preserved and Contentions Sharpened

By Muehlberger, James P.; Hoekel, Boyd S. | Defense Counsel Journal, October 2004 | Go to article overview

An Overview of Lone Pine Orders in Toxic Tort Litigation: By Requiring Plaintiffs to Produce Early in Discovery the Specifics of Their Claims, Judicial Resources Are Preserved and Contentions Sharpened


Muehlberger, James P., Hoekel, Boyd S., Defense Counsel Journal


LONE PINE orders are a type of case management order requiring plaintiffs in toxic tort lawsuits to produce early in the discovery process basic evidence supporting a prima facie case. Cases in which defendants can persuade a court to enter a Lone Pine order typically have multiple plaintiffs and occasionally multiple defendants. The orders generally require plaintiffs to identify their injuries and produce some evidence of causation. As a result, these orders help courts organize claims and focus on key issues early in litigation. Courts may rely on either their inherent authority to control their dockets or applicable rules of civil procedure to issue these case management orders.

While most jurisdictions have not considered Lone Pine orders, their use appears to be spreading as plaintiffs' attorneys continue to push the edge of the class action envelope with new and unproven claims.

HOW THEY BEGAN

Lone Pine orders take their name from a 1986 case in the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court, styled Lore v. Lone Pine Corp., (1) involving multiple plaintiffs suing 464 defendants. The plaintiffs alleged personal injuries and property damage from a landfill. In order to streamline the proceedings, the court entered a case management order requiring the plaintiffs to provide certain basic information regarding their claims.

With respect to their personal injury claims, each plaintiff was required to provide (1) the facts of his or her exposure to the alleged toxic substances at or from the Lone Pine landfill, and (2) reports of treating physicians and medical or other experts supporting each individual plaintiff's claim of injury and causation by the substances. The court also required each plaintiff to provide in support of claims for diminution of property value: (1) his or her address and (2) reports of a real property or other expert supporting the claim for diminution in value. When the plaintiffs failed to produce the information required by the case management order, the court dismissed all of their claims with prejudice.

WHAT THEY REQUIRE

A typical Lone Pine order requires a plaintiff to provide an affidavit by a date certain stating: (1) the identity and amount of each chemical to which the plaintiff was exposed; (2) the precise disease or illness from which the plaintiff suffers; and (3) the evidence supporting the theory that exposure to the defendant's chemicals caused the injury in question. (2) Other evidence can be required by the order. For example, as in Cottle v. Superior Court (Oxnard Shores Co.), (3) the dates of the exposure to the substance, the method of exposure (that is, inhalation, dermal or ingestion), and affidavits from medical experts supporting causation were required.

Many Lone Pine orders require expert opinions on causation. For example, in an Oklahoma case, the trial court in Tulsa County entered an order requiring the plaintiffs to provide statements identifying each injury, illness or condition that they claimed more likely than not was caused by exposure to any chemical. (4) The case against a utility company involved more than 150 office workers in Tulsa who alleged exposure to polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs) that escaped from an underground transformer.

Each plaintiff was ordered to provide a narrative statement, with an affidavit of a physician or other expert, that included:

* Identification of each relevant injury, illness or condition suffered;

* The underlying facts or data relied on to forming an opinion that he or she was exposed to PCBs and related chemicals at a level or dose which was sufficient to cause injury or illness;

* Identification of the precise exposure route--that is, inhalation, skin contact, ingestion--by which he or she was exposed to the listed chemicals;

* Specification of the precise chemicals which more probably than not caused each injury, illness or condition;

* For each illness, injury or condition, specification of the scientific and medical basis for the opinion, including a specific reference to the particular scientific or literature forming the basis of the opinion; and

* A differential diagnosis establishing that the physician or expert formed an opinion that more probably than not the plaintiff's illnesses did not have some etiology other than exposure to PCBs or related chemicals. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An Overview of Lone Pine Orders in Toxic Tort Litigation: By Requiring Plaintiffs to Produce Early in Discovery the Specifics of Their Claims, Judicial Resources Are Preserved and Contentions Sharpened
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.