Some legal issues involve complex subject matters that require attorneys with years of experience and a wealth of knowledge and skills to litigate and secure their clients fair and just compensation. One such example of complex litigation is multidistrict litigation (MDL).
These cases involve several plaintiffs who have filed individual lawsuits that contain similar allegations looking to secure compensation for the damages they endured. These cases are typically filed across several federal district courts in different states. However, to ease the legal process and save time, money, and resources, these cases may be consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) and transferred to a single federal court with one judge. The JPML holds hearings on a regular basis to determine whether cases should be consolidated in an MDL before one transferee judge. A list of pending MDLs is available on the JPML’s website. https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/pending-mdls-0
Multidistrict litigation often centers around dangerous drug lawsuits, defective medical devices, catastrophic events, product defects, manufacturing errors, manufacturer recalls and much more. In some cases, hundreds and even thousands of plaintiffs suffer due to the actions of one company. These plaintiffs all experienced similar damages. As you can imagine, these cases involve many moving parts, from multiple parties and large sums of money to a long and arduous legal process.
Fortunately, the attorneys at Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. have decades of experience litigating countless complex cases across a host of legal areas. Our team possesses the skills and resources needed to prepare a lawsuit thoroughly and navigate the legal process to secure the compensation you deserve.
When are MDLs Needed?
As mentioned before, multidistrict litigation typically involves multiple individual lawsuits filed across several federal district courts. These cases include individuals who suffered similar injuries or outcomes, as a result of the similar wrongful conduct, and who are seeking compensation from a shared defendant or group of defendants. As you can imagine, separately litigating each lawsuit would require a lot of time and many resources.
These cases are consolidated into multidistrict litigation to gain efficiency, saving time, money, and resources. A single judge is chosen by the JPML to oversee the proceedings, based on certain factors, such as where the discovery materials are, the convenience of the witnesses, and the locations of most of the actions. Once the cases are transferred to the MDL court for consolidated pretrial proceedings, injured parties will then proceed in the MDL in a single courtroom. The assigned judge will appoint a committee of attorneys to coordinate pretrial and discovery proceedings in the MDL federal court.
These pretrial and discovery proceedings include:
- The gathering of evidence
- Depositions, document productions and interrogatories
- Expert witness testimony and expert reports
- Individual plaintiff discovery involving plaintiff fact sheets or plaintiff profile forms
- Evidentiary challenges
- Motions to dismiss cases
- Summary judgment hearings
- Settlement offers
The MDL judge also may conduct bellwether trials, which involve cases selected to proceed first to trial in order to give the parties and the court a better understanding of the claims and defenses involved in the MDL. Unlike class action lawsuits where only class representatives file a lawsuit, your individual attorney will file a lawsuit for each plaintiff that will become consolidated with other lawsuits in the MDL.
After these proceedings, any remaining cases will then transfer back to their original district for trial.
Types of MDLS
- Dangerous drug cases
- Defective medical devices
- Product liability cases
- Product recalls
- Toxic exposures
- Catastrophic events
- Airplane crash
- Antitrust or consumer products cases
- Employee rights’ cases
Multidistrict litigation is a complicated and arduous process involving complex rules and procedures. Each step of the legal process must be handled with extreme care and diligence. Not every attorney possesses the understanding of MDLs or the skills to navigate these cases successfully.
With several decades of complex litigation experience, the attorneys at Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. have the resources and skills to navigate the legal process of MDLs. They will thoroughly prepare your case and provide legal advice to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.