The Lambert Firm represents injured victims and families of wrongful death victims in individual lawsuits for damages. When a medical device or consumer product is defective, it can cause the same type of harm to hundreds, if not thousands of users. The legal issues amongst the claims are also similar. When multiple similar civil cases are filed in federal court, these mass torts are often consolidated in multi-district litigation (MDL) to save time, conserve judicial resources, and consolidate case expenses.
The MDL process is designed to help federal courts efficiently manage many related cases filed in different jurisdictions. Consolidated litigation of a mass of individual lawsuits also deceases case costs for the individual plaintiffs, by spreading many of the litigation costs across the entire group of cases. To be eligible for an MDL, a group of lawsuits must involve one or more common issues. Then the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), consisting of seven appellate and district court judges all from different circuits, decides by majority vote whether to create an MDL and to which federal court it should be sent.
One federal judge is chosen to receive all transferred cases from all different federal jurisdictions and venues. Additionally, because the litigation is so expansive, the judge will generally appoint a committee of select lawyers, called a Plaintiffs Steering Committee (PSC), to represent the entire group plaintiffs involved in the suit.
The MDL judge presides over pretrial motions, discovery proceedings, and settlement conferences. If a trial is necessary, those cases are sent back to the court in which they were first filed, and the trial will take place there. That way each plaintiff gets his or her day in court, and if the drug company or dangerous product manufacturer settles the cases before trial, the cases are settled individually, based on the measure of harm to each individual plaintiff.
Contact a Mass Torts Multi-District Litigation Law Firm
Multi-district litigation is a complicated component of federal civil procedure with which many attorneys are not familiar. The attorneys at The Lambert Firm have extensive experience in litigating and managing complex multi-district litigation including aviation mass accidents, dangerous pharmaceuticals, defective medical devices, and product liability claims.
The Lambert Firm has been handling mass action and mass torts cases throughout the country for over 35 years. Our experienced team of trial lawyers will work hard to get you the best possible result. Contact our multi-district litigation lawyers today for assistance with any questions you may have about your case.