Nuts & Bolts: Multidistrict Litigations and Maximizing a Client’s Settlement or Trial Verdict

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

Did you know that if you have a complaint against a drug manufacturer, you are most likely not alone? In fact, if a drug or medical product is alleged to have caused injuries to thousands of patients and generally involves large numbers of individuals, courts struggle to manage their resources. In order to facilitate the trying of these cases, many of the suits can be compiled into a smaller number of legal proceedings to better manage the cases. This process is better known as a multidistrict litigation. The purpose of the multidistrict litigation process is to eliminate the potential for contemporaneous rulings by coordinating district and appellate courts in multidistrict related civil actions. These cases may have one or more questions of fact (which is determined by looking at the evidence) in common.

The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and consists of seven members. The panel decides when multiple lawsuits should be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation and the panel assigns cases when it appears that an issue with strong common features has happened. This allows a single judge to control the litigation for all similarly situated cases and prevents the repetition of the same issues being tried in hundreds of courts nationwide. In MDL proceedings, plaintiffs’ attorneys can pool their resources and coordinate efforts, increasing the money and human resources available to litigate the case.

If you have been hurt by a defective drug or have a complaint against a drug manufacturer, please contact the attorneys at Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin LLP and we can help you get a legal remedy for your injury. We make sure each client has their own individual case, always prosecuted on its specific merits. Clients are not “numbers” or thrown into a class action.

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