What Is Multi district Litigation?

Multi district litigation (MDL) is a procedure used within the federal court system used to transfer all pending civil cases of a similar type filed throughout the United States to a single federal judge in order to conduct all of the pretrial proceedings. The decision to do so is made by a panel of seven federal judges (appointed by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court), which meets periodically to determine which cases can be consolidated in this way. The chosen federal judge is known as the “transferee judge.”

The Judicial Panel on Multi district Litigation was legislated into existence in 1968 in order to help the courts coordinate about 2,000 related cases then pending in 36 different districts around the United States. Lawmakers and the judiciary agreed that MDL was the best way to handle such widespread cases with common complaints. Class actions as well as single-plaintiff cases can be transferred for MDL consolidation. Class actions must be found by the deciding panel to have one or more common questions of fact. Since class action lawsuits are usually based on commonality, they naturally might qualify for consolidation into MDL proceedings.

Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit MDL

In December 2008, all Mentor ObTape lawsuits pending in federal courts were consolidated for MDL in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, before the Honorable Judge Clay D. Land. In October 2010, 36 lawsuits against Bard (manufacturer of one brand of problematic mesh) were consolidated for MDL in the Southern District of West Virginia; the number of included cases has since grown to nearly 300. Also in October 2010, Judge Carol E. Higbee of the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of centralized management for all current and future complaints against manufacturers J&J and Bard (more than 400 such cases have currently been filed)—not MDL, strictly speaking, but a sort of state-specific equivalent.

We are Helping Vaginal Mesh Victims

If you’ve suffered adverse side effects from a vaginal sling/surgical mesh implant, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries—whether or not the mesh product your doctor used is still on the market. To file a lawsuit for injuries you’ve suffered as the result of a drug or medical device, that drug or medical device doesn’t have to have been recalled. Legal action is the best way to recover the most compensation for your medical expenses and your pain and suffering.