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Mass Tort Lawsuits – Judge Higbee Moves Up

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For some time, various mass tort lawsuits have been consolidated in New Jersey’s Atlantic County, where they (and other cases) were presided over by the Honorable Judge Carol Higbee. In addition to the Accutane injury lawsuits, the multi-county litigation also includes lawsuits over asbestos, Tylenol and the vaginal mesh devices that have caused serious injury to thousands of women.

Replacing Judge Higbee is a man whose name may not be familiar to you. However, if you are a fan of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, you are familiar with his work. Judge Nelson Johnson is the author of the historical account, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, upon which the series is based.  Judge Johnson (who is no relation to the racketeer Enoch “Nucky” Johnson) will soon be taking over Judge Higbee’s caseload.

With a background in medical malpractice before she was called to the bar in 1993, Judge Higbee was uniquely qualified to preside over cases involving pharmaceutical products such as Accutane. Johnson’s undergraduate degree is in political philosophy. As an attorney, he served the Atlantic City Planning Board for many years prior to being appointed a judge in 2006. His years of experience and intellectual acumen make Judge Johnson an excellent selection for this challenging position.

Since many complex issues are involved in the various mass tort cases,  there is much for Judge Johnson to preside over. He has his work cut out for him, spending virtually all his waking hours studying the cases and familiarizing himself with the issues. Fortunately, Judge Higbee’s office is not far from his own chambers should he need background information on the mass tort lawsuits and other cases that he will preside over.