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A Zoom hearing before Judge Michael Toto of Middlesex County Superior Court. A hearing before Judge Michael Toto of Middlesex County Superior Court considers whether plaintiffs can take pre-suit discovery in litigation over COVID-19 deaths at state-operated nursing homes in New Jersey.

A Superior Court judge appeared ready to allow plaintiffs lawyers to conduct some discovery related to COVID-19 deaths at state-operated nursing homes before any lawsuits are filed.

Superior Court Assignment Judge Michael Toto on Friday said he will consider granting a narrower version of the request to allow pre-suit discovery in connection with the handling of COVID-19 at the veterans’ homes in Menlo Park and Paramus. The plaintiffs lawyers sought clearance to conduct 23 depositions, but Toto said he would consider allowing depositions of one resident and three employees. But first the lawyers for the prospective plaintiffs must show the judge what sort of information they are seeking and why it can’t be obtained elsewhere.

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Charles Toutant

Charles Toutant is a litigation writer for the New Jersey Law Journal.

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