What is a multidistrict litigation?
Multidistrict litigation is a specific procedure used in the federal court system to transfer to one federal judge all pending civil cases of a similar type. These lawsuits are typically filed throughout the United States. However it is usually in the best interest of the litigants to have these cases consolidated under one Judge in one district especially if a favorable judge is located. This decision is made by a panel of seven federal judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. When a judge gets federal cases assigned, this is known as the "transferee judge." Judges throughout the United States who send cases to the MDL judge are know as the "transferor judges" or "transferor courts."
What types of cases are best presented as a multidistrict litigation ?
This type of litigation works well for product liability claims involving medical devices or prescription drugs. For example, if there are several lawsuits against the manufacturer of a prescription drug because it was known to cause serious side effects that were not disclosed, it would be litigated in one court by one judge. An example would be Actos that causes bladder cancer. The bladder cancer is a specific complication affecting a group of people who have taken Actos. The Actos MDL is a consolidation of all federal lawsuits alleging Actos caused bladder cancer into one court for pretrial precedings. MDLs are often created in cases where pharmaceutical companies are sued by numerous individuals asserting similar injuries. Other drugs with cases proceding in MDLs include, Yaz,Yasmin and Avandia. Multidistrict litigation works well for large, complex cases that involve one or more common issues of fact. Here are some examples of common issues of fact that might warrant the formation of an MDL:
- Does a certain pharmaceutical drug cause strokes or liver cancer?
- Was an airplane crash caused by a defective braking system?
- Were many people injured by a specific malfunction by a specific automobile manufacturer ?
A growing number of women from around the country who are plaintiffs in transvaginal mesh litigation have a court date of Wednesday, January 26 in Miami. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) is set to hear requests by plaintiff attorneys to have thousands of defective mesh lawsuits consolidated in the same federal court.
Kugel Mesh multidistrict litigation was filed in federal Rhode Island court on behalf of thousands of individuals alleging injury by the hernia repair patch. He additionally serves as liaison counsel for the nearly 2, 000 Composix Kugel Mesh lawsuits consolidated in Rhode Island state court.
The Yaz multi district litigation cases that have been taking place in the Southern Dsitrict of Illinois were set to see their first bellwether trials happen on the 12th of January, 2012.n However, on the final day of 2011, Judge David R. Herndon, the presiding judge in the Yaz multi district litigation cases, announced that rather than immediately proceeding with bellwether trials he would implement mediation in order to hopefully bring about Yaz pre-trial settlements for at least some plaintiffs.
Overview of Multidistrict Litigation
Multidistrict litigation will only work in cases where there is at least one fact that the cases have in common. In the previous example, the one fact that would be in common is that a particular prescription drug had serious undisclosed side effects. it must be specific.
Is a multidistrict litigation the same thing as a class action?
No. Although class actions may be transferred to an MDL consolidation in the same manner as single plaintiff cases. However, for cases to be treated as proper for an MDL consolidation the Panel must find one or more common questions of fact. Since commonality is also a required element for a class action, class actions are frequently litigated as MDL proceedings.
What happens to a lawsuit after it is transferred to a federal judge by the Panel?
Generally, the transferee court (the MDL court) will set standing orders or pretrial orders informing the lawyers involved of the ground rules, deadlines and procedures the court expects the litigants to follow. Steering committees may be appointed to manage the substance of the litigation and the discovery of facts. In theory, discovery and case management by the MDL court should allow completion of pretrial matters, then the case must be remanded back to the transferor case for trial. The only cases that would not be remanded are those cases originally filed in the court with the MDL judge is seated. In practice, many cases sent to an MDL court are settled at some point in time during the pretrial proceedings.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is located in Washington, DC at the following address:
Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building
One Columbus Circle, NE
Room G-255, North Lobby
Washington, DC 20002-8004
The hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Telephone: (202) 502-2800
Facsimile: (202) 502-2888 (24 hours)
What Kinds of Cases Are Subject to Multidistrict Litigation?
Multidistrict litigation works well for large, complex cases that involve one or more common issues of fact. Here are some examples of common issues of fact that might warrant the formation of an MDL:
Does a certain pharmaceutical drug cause brain damage?
Was an airplane crash caused by a defective braking system?
Some types of cases naturally lend themselves to MDL, such as those involving:
- dangerous drugs, medical devices, and other products liability claims
- airplane crashes
- securities fraud
- intellectual property infringement, and
- employment practices.
Current MultiDistrict Litigation news
Oregon Resident’s Levaquin Lawsuit Joined Multidistrict Litigation
The antibiotic Levaquin has been associated with such Levaquin side effects as Achilles heel Levaquin tendon ruptures. In a recent lawsuit, plaintiff Dianne K. Eccles, represented by her Levaquin lawyer, claims to have experienced a tendon rupture in her shoulder.
Shay Morrigan | January 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Levaquin Lawsuit News, Multidistrict Litigation
Manufacturer Calls for Transvaginal Mesh Multidistrict Litigation
Shay Morrigan | December 12th, 2011 | Posted in Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit News
American Medical Systems (AMS), one of the makers of vaginal mesh products, has called for transvaginal mesh multidistrict litigation (MDL). The medical device company filed a motion on November 23, 2011 with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate cases whose plaintiffs allege transvaginal mesh complications for more efficient and cost-effective pretrial proceeding
If you were injured and feel it is a possible MDL contact class action lawyer Network Today