An “MDL” (or Multidistrict Litigation) is a method that courts use in dangerous drug and defective medical device lawsuits when there are a large number of plaintiffs are litigating against a small number of defendants. An MDL is not a class action lawsuit because each case stands on its own individual merits. The benefit is that most of the pre-trial matters are consolidated before one federal judge so that specific legal issues are streamlined and consistent.
The MDL Process
The first step in the MDL process is for our attorneys to petition the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) in Washington D.C. to form an MDL. The JPML will take into consideration the types of cases to be consolidated and the court venues requested and make a decision as to where the MDL will be located. Once it is formed, the presiding judge over the MDL will appoint lead counsel for defendants and plaintiffs. Lead counsel is responsible for all aspects of the case. Our legal team often is appointed by the judge as the lead counsel.
The average lifespan of an MDL is 3-5 years but every MDL is different and could take less time or it could take more time. There are several factors that determine how long an MDL will last. Depending on the outcome of the jury verdict(s) in the Bellwether trial(s), defendants could decide to discuss settlement, or they could decide to take more cases to trial.
Contact our Multi-District Litigation Attorneys to Learn More
Our lawyers will let you know if an offer of settlement has been made to you through a multi-district litigation. You have the ultimate decision whether to accept the settlement offer or go to trial. We will recommend to you if a proposed settlement amount is fair and reasonable and discuss all risks of going to trial.