United States District Court, D. Maryland
ESTATE OF ARTURO GIRON ALVAREZ by and through Maria Ana Giron Galindo as Administrator, Plaintiffs
THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY ET AL, Defendants
MEMORANDUM RE: INITIAL PROCEDURAL ORDER
J. Garbis United States District Judge
Court has before it Defendants' Motion for Preliminary
Case Management Order [ECF No. 159] and the materials
submitted relating thereto. A conference was held regarding
the motion on February 5, 2018.
Plaintiffs present claims in six Categories:
Category 1 “Direct Plaintiffs”: Guatemalans who
were unknowingly, and without their consent, infected with
syphilis as part of the Guatemala Experiments.
Category 2 “Spouses”: Guatemalans who did not
have syphilis before he or she married or had sexual contact
with a Direct Plaintiff, and who was infected with the
disease through sexual contact with the Direct Plaintiff.
Category 3 “Children”: the sons and daughters of
a Direct Plaintiff or the spouse of the son or daughter of a
Direct Plaintiff and Spouse.
Category 4 “Descendants”: the grandchildren or
great grandchildren of a Direct Plaintiff.
Category 5 “Wrongful Death Plaintiffs”: the
Parent, Spouse or Child of a Deceased Plaintiff who died as a
result of syphilis acquired as a result of the Guatemala
Category 6 “Estate Plaintiffs”: Estates of
Guatemalans who died as a result of syphilis acquired as a
result of the Guatemala Experiments. The claims of all of
these “Estate Plaintiffs” are being brought by
their heirs, next of kin, or personal representatives.
claims are based upon alleged nonconsensual medical
experimentation conducted by certain individuals in the 1940s
in Guatemala. There appears to be little dispute that certain
individuals did perform the acts on which the claims are
based. However, there are disputes about whether Plaintiffs
can establish their claims against these individuals and, if
so, whether they have sufficient evidence to impose legal
responsibility upon the Defendants: (1) Johns Hopkins, (2)
The Rockefeller Foundation, and (3) Bristol-Myers Squibb
of the number of claims and the need for extensive discovery
into events occurring more than 75 years ago, the Court finds
it beneficial to conduct the litigation to lead toward
efficient determination of which of Plaintiffs' claims,
if any, can survive summary judgment and which Defendant(s),
if any, face claims that must proceed to trial against them.
The Court agrees with the parties that a case management
order is necessary to reduce any unnecessary discovery and to
efficiently determine which Plaintiffs and which claims can
survive Defendants' summary judgment
motions. However, the Court will not enter the
Lone Pine order as requested by Defendants.
parties agree that there are two separate portions of the
case, each of which must now be subject to discovery. These
two portions are: (1) whether there is any Plaintiff with a
claim within each Category that could survive summary
judgment and proceed to trial and (2) whether any Defendant
may have evidence adequate to be granted summary judgment
Court has delegated discovery management to Magistrate Judge
Gesner because the discovery necessary will be extensive and
may require a significant amount of judicial management.