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What does it mean if my case is being transferred to an MDL?

What does it mean if my case is being transferred to an MDL?


Many times, a vast number of mass tort or complex cases will be combined into a special federal legal procedure called multidistrict litigation (MDL). Such cases include product liability suits on defective medications such as Zofran or Xarelto, and they also include the handling of air disaster litigation.

Steve Harrelson, a Zofran lawyer Little Rock, AR trusts, has been involved in multidistrict litigation panels involving an array of mass torts. “While the discovery process in MDL cases can be very standardized, this type of litigation can really speed along a very complex set of cases,” says Harrelson. “When you have a case that is likely to be transferred into a national MDL panel, it’s important to talk to a lawyer who’s experienced in the process.

When it comes to defective medication litigation, the Harrelson Law Firm is experienced in working with the leadership of national MDL panels involving several mass tort cases. Whether you have experienced a bleeding episode from a Xarelto prescription, or whether you have given birth to a child with congenital birth defects due to a Zofran prescription, the most important thing to do is to make contact with a pharmaceutical lawyer trusts in order to understand your rights. There are important time limits and deadlines that you must meet, or your case will not stand, regardless of how worthy it is.

The MDL process was created in 1968 by Congress in an effort to streamline cases and avoid the duplication of discovery by joining similar cases around the country into one case. There is actually an MDL Panel office in Washington, DC, and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, comprised of seven federal judges, decides what cases to consolidate into an MDL and where to send them.

While similar to class action cases, MDL cases involve very detailed and specific procedures in order to effectively combine similar existing cases into one process. If you’re a lawyer reading this, you may question whether you can avoid having your case transferred into an MDL, and if so, whether that is a strategy you would want to utilize for your client. The answer is yes, but there are strict time limits. Once the defense files a Motion to Transfer your case to an MDL panel, you have 20 days to file a brief – limited to 20 pages – to state the reasons that your case should stay independent. While there are many benefits, it may be to your benefit to try and keep your case home if you feel as though your home district may be more favorably disposed to your case than the transferee court.

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