In recent years, studies have shown an increase in product liability lawsuits, and given the widespread sales of the products, many of these cases are being consolidated into multi-district litigations (MDLs). Many state courts, such as California’s, have coordinated proceedings and have similar coordinated settlement models, and there is increased cooperation between federal MDLs and similar state-court-coordinated cases. The most successful MDLs for both plaintiffs and defendants occur when the parties and the court consider a settlement process from the inception of the MDL and when the federal and state court proceedings are coordinated into an overall settlement process.
For the purposes of this discussion, we will assume that an MDL has been created and assigned to a federal judge. We will also assume that there are state-courtcoordinated proceedings assigned to a single complex litigation judge.
Originally published in Law.com on June 4, 2014.
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