Managing the Complex: A Brief Survey of Lone Pine Orders
A Lone Pine order is a case management tool that takes its name from a 1986 environmental mass tort case in which a New Jersey court required the plaintiffs to substantiate their allegations of personal injury, property damage and causation before proceeding with discovery.1 Principally because of the suspect nature of the plaintiffs’ claims, the Lone Pine court placed a threshold burden on them to present prima facie evidence of injury and causation, which should have been evident from their pre-suit investigation.2 When the plaintiffs failed to meet this burden, the court dismissed their claims.3 By creating this hurdle, the court limited the ability of plaintiffs to use mass tort litigation as a tactical means of extracting an unmerited settlement.4
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1 Lore v. Lone Pine Corp., No. L-33606-85, 1986 WL 637507 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. Nov. 18, 1986).
2 Id. at *4.
3 Id. at *2.
4 Id. at *4.