PLAC MDL Task Force Comment Letter to MDL Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

As an organization representing many target defendants in mass tort MDLs, including some of the largest MDLs on the federal docket, the Product Liability Advisory Council is uniquely positioned to serve as a voice for the defense bar to improve defense messaging, align on strategy, and enhance opportunities to affect MDL processes in a meaningful way. PLAC’s Healthcare and Lifesciences Technology Group assembled a task force of outside and in-house counsel with deep experience in MDL litigation to evaluate some of the issues and challenges facing defendants and to develop strategies for effective, consistent approaches to these cases. The Task Force is led by co-chairs Richard North (Nelson Mullins) and Sandra Edwards  (Winston & Strawn) and includes members Eric Rucker (3M), Leah Lorber (GSK), Charn Reid (GSK), Chris Guth (Bayer), and Dave Cooner (Becton Dickinson) with support from Jim Frederick (Faegre Drinker), Steve Matthews (DLA Piper), and Rand Brothers (Winston & Strawn).

The Task Force’s first undertaking was a review and analysis of a May 13 report and a June supplemental report by the MDL Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. The reports discussed proposed rule changes related to the MDL process through amendments to Rules 16(b) and 26(f). PLAC’s MDL Task Force prepared and submitted a Comment Letter to the Advisory Committee in advance of its meeting on October 22, 2022. PLAC’s letter advocating for early screening of claims and addressing certain other provisions of Subcommittee’s proposal can be found here.

Watch for future updates on initiatives and projects sponsored by the PLAC HLTh Group, including the MDL Task Force. If you would like further information about participating in the PLAC HTLh Group or have comments or suggestions for topics or projects, please contact us at

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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