Multidistrict litigation is when multiple cases around the United States are transferred to one court, where one judge will manage the litigation and discovery process of these cases. This type of litigation works well for product liability claims involving medical devices or prescription drugs. For example, if there are several lawsuits against the manufacturer of a prescription drug because it was known to cause serious side effects that were not disclosed, it would be litigated in one court by one judge.
Overview of Multidistrict Litigation
Multidistrict litigation will only work in cases where there is at least one fact that the cases have in common. In the previous example, the one fact that would be in common is that a particular prescription drug had serious undisclosed side effects. If a case is dismissed or if a settlement can’t be reached in multidistrict litigation, the case will be returned to the court where it originated. From there a trial date will be set.
Benefits and Drawbacks to Multidistrict Litigation
There are many factors to multidistrict litigation, some of which are positive and some less so. In the example of a product liability claim, if the manufacturer’s director was to be deposed, rather than be deposed for several cases the director would only need to be deposed for one case. This is generally considered a plus for the defendant and less so for those who are on the plaintiff’s side, such as yourself.
Multidistrict litigation requires the use of only one judge rather than several judges hearing the same case across the country. Depending on the judge who handles the case, this could be a positive or negative for your own claim. In the same token, multidistrict litigation prevents several different rulings from being made. With one judge litigating, one final decision will be made for all of the lawsuits. The biggest benefit for the plaintiff’s side is that generally, attorneys can pool resources, which will ideally benefit all of the victims involved in the claims. Your Chicago product liability attorney can explain to you the impact that multidistrict litigation will have on your specific case.
Hiring a Chicago Product Liability Lawyer
The Chicago product liability lawyer team at Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. has experience handling complex product liability claims involving dangerous prescription drugs. For a free case evaluation and help preparing your evidence contact us today – 312-263-1080.