In the United States, multidistrict litigation ("MDL") refers to a special federal legal procedure designed to speed the process of handling complex cases.
MDL cases are civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact that are pending in different federal districts. In order to efficiently process cases that could involve hundreds (or thousands) of plaintiffs in dozens of different federal courts, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decides whether cases should be consolidated under an MDL and where to transfer the cases.
Cases Subject to Mass Torts
Cases subject to MDL are sent from one court, known as the transferor, to another, known as the transferee, for all pretrial proceedings and discovery. If a case is not settled or dismissed in the transferee court, it is remanded (i.e., sent back) to the transferor court for trial.
The MDL statute is 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the United States Code. Section 1407 was enacted in 1968 as a belated response to a price-fixing scandal at General Electric in the early 1960s which badly swamped the federal courts with a flood of criminal prosecutions and related civil litigation.
We have handled a wide array MDL Claims
The attorneys at Morris, Sullivan & Lemkul®, LLP have extensive experience handling MDL claims and have been involved in the following MDL actions:
- MDL 1203 In Re: DIET DRUGS (FEN-PHEN)
- MDL 1431 I n Re: BAYCOL PRODUCTS LITIGATION
- MDL 1348 In Re: REZULIN PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
- MDL 1657 In Re: VIOXX PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION