A New Jersey state appeals court on Wednesday upheld dismissal of a products liability suit because lawyers for the plaintiff, who died during the course of the litigation, failed to substitute a new one quickly enough.

The New Jersey Appellate Division, in Dougherty v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp, A-98-10, held the trial judge’s decision was justified under Rule 4:23-5(a)(2), which allows dismissal with prejudice for failure to comply with discovery 60 days after a nonprejudicial dismissal if the problem has not been fixed during that time, unless exceptional circumstances are shown.

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