Roche Loses Last Shot At Booting NJ Accutane Judge

By Andrew Scurria (January 14, 2014, 4:31 PM EST) -- The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday stamped out Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.'s attempt to expel the presiding trial judge from consolidated litigation alleging personal injuries from the company's acne drug Accutane.

In a brief order, the state's highest court denied Roche's request for leave to appeal Judge Carol Higbee's refusal to recuse herself from the underlying multicounty litigation, which comprises more than 7,700 lawsuits blaming Accutane for inflammatory bowel disease and other ailments.

Roche has now failed to convince three courts, including Judge Higbee herself, that her conduct warranted removal. The drugmaker had complained about comments she made to a defense...

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