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Mass Tort and Class Action Multidistrict Litigation

Aug 20, 2022 | litigation

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is the process of simplifying complicated civil actions that emerge out of the same line of activity by consolidating them into a single federal district court for preliminary hearings, such as mass tort cases and products liability claims.

Suitable Cases for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)

Only civil lawsuits filed in federal court have the option of multidistrict litigation (MDL).

One comparison is drawn between criminal and civil proceedings. Person who has suffered harm in a civil case. A claim is made against the person or thing who has done it; this person is also known as the plaintiff. The goal of civil lawsuits is to recover damages for the plaintiff’s losses.

These cases may occur in federal court rather than state court if either of the following applies:

  • The damages in question total more than $75,000, and both the plaintiff and the defendant are from different states.
  • Federal law is at issue in this case.

Multidistrict Litigation’s Intended Solutions for Some Issues

A number of problems would arise if each victim were to pursue their own claim due to the actions of one defendant. The injuries resulting by hundreds of people from various locations could be due to the following:

  • Having to hear hundreds of cases that were quite similar one at a time would place an additional burden on the legal system’s already scarce resources and time.
  • As each plaintiff would retain a separate attorney, the expense of bringing the claims would skyrocket and each plaintiff’s potential recovery would decline.
  • In every court hearing the case, the defendant would need to have counsel.
  • Each court hearing a claim would require identical pieces of tangible proof.
  • Important witnesses would have to travel not only to each site for deposition and trial, but also to each court to give testimony. However, they must also repeat their testimony verbatim or run the danger of losing credibility by making incoherent assertions or even lying while under oath.
  • It is possible for jurors and judges to reach different conclusions after hearing essentially identical claims.

Congress established a statute allowing judges to combine these claims in multidistrict litigation in order to avoid these issues.

The Procedure for Multidistrict Litigation

Personal injury cases that share numerous facts yet included victims from different locations across the nation are consolidated into one federal district court through the MDL process for all pretrial proceedings. These preliminary hearings consist of:

  • Collecting proof throughout the discovery process.
  • Case dismissal requests
  • Summary judgment motions
  • Challenges to the evidence
  • Interrogations and depositions
  • Settlement proposals

The matter is back to the district court if it does not resolve during these pretrial proceedings.

Class Actions and Multidistrict Lawsuits Have Different Legal Procedures

MDLs and class actions have some similarities, but they also differ significantly. What matters most is:

  • MDLs essentially transfer all pending litigation to a single court, whereas class actions combine all claims and plaintiffs into a single case
  • Class actions aggregate cases for every stage of the legal process, whereas MDLs only do so during the pretrial stage before returning the case to the original federal court for the trial
  • Unlike in class actions, plaintiffs in MDLs don’t have to certify their class

MDLs’ Potential Effects on your Case

Multidistrict litigation will alter the course of your case in several significant ways if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim through it. However, not all of them will have an effect on the resolution of your case or your capacity to obtain the just recompense.

The estrangement experienced as a result of MDL is the primary distinction. The fact that your case will be heard thousands or perhaps hundreds of kilometers away may make you feel disconnected from the proceedings. However, by, for instance, preparing for and participating in a deposition, this can also lessen the amount of time you will need to spend on it personally.

However, there are key distinctions between a typical personal injury case and an MDL that might affect the result. While some of these favor plaintiffs, others benefit defendants.

Multidistrict litigation has another significant distinction in that settlements are frequently much more common than in typical personal injury claims. This is particularly valid if your claim is a tag-along claim rather than one of the MDL’s initial filings. In an MDL, these first claims frequently result in bellwether trials.

Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer

The majority of personal injury lawsuits are significantly less complicated than multidistrict litigation. The personal injury attorneys in Glendale can assist you. Calling our office is always welcome at 310-933-5171.