We had a status conference on August 21st. We addressed a number of issues at the status conference. Approximately four thousand cases are filed in various courts nationwide. We were meeting in the multi district litigation (MDL) in St. Paul, Minneapolis. There are two thousand cases pending in St. Paul, and we are currently engaging in discovery. We are taking depositions of corporate representatives on various scientific subjects, and electronic storage of information subjects which are central to the trials. We are also in the process of selecting Bellwether cases or test cases. A bellwether trial is a selection of representative sample of cases tried in front of a jury. Bellwether cases are normally demonstrative of matters which may arise in every injured party’s case. We are picking roughly twelve cases and they will go to trial next summer. Those cases will inform us how to handle many of the other cases pending since thousands of cases cannot be tried. The hope is these cases provide a blueprint how to resolve litigation later on. The Plaintiff’s Steering Committee believes it is critical we obtain discovery and understand what is happening with the cases before we settle.
The next status conference is September 22nd. We have reached an agreement with Stryker with respect to foreign entities to toll the statute of limitations for any claims against those entities so any claims those individuals have might have will be preserved going forward.