Posted by Admin on November 01 2013

The difference between a Class Action and Multi-District Litigation (MDL)

Our law firm is currently investigating and litigating cases involving injuries and death following dialysis. The Courts have established two (2) different multi-district litigation (MDL) forum for litigating these cases. Both forum are located in Massachusetts, with one in federal court and one in state court.

Many people confuse MDL litigation with Class Action litigation, though the two are substantively very different. Class Action cases are appropriate where the injuries that the "class" or group of plaintiffs suffer, is the same or very similar. In those cases, it makes sense to establish a class of plaintiffs, and essentially there is only one lawsuit that addresses the entire litigation. At the end of the lawsuit, if the plaintiffs prove liability, the damages are divided proportionately among the class according to the plaintiff's individual "share." As an example, if the claim involves shares of stock, then the individual plaintiffs will recover proportionately according to how many shares of stock they own.

In cases involving dangerous drugs or defective products, it is more appropriate to set up an MDL, which is just a single forum to corral all the cases involving that product. The MDL makes the process more efficient because there are many overlapping issues that concern all the plaintiffs injured by a drug ? liability issues (how the drug injured someone) and discovery issues (exchange of written documents and oral depositions that generate evidence and proof) will be the same across all the cases. The part of the process where MDL and Class Actions largely differ are the injuries. Each human being is different, and the impact that injuries play in their lives are different. While the value of a share of stock is a commodity that is easily priced, the impact of a heart attack, for example, on someone's life is never the same for two people. For that reason, MDLs allow cases to come together for the big issues involving discovery and liability, then the individual cases are returned to their home jurisdiction for ultimate resolution. If those cases are not settled prior to trial, they would be tried individually in their home jurisdiction, allowing each individual plaintiff to share their stories of how they've been harmed with a jury.

If you or a loved one have been harmed by a dangerous drug or a dangerous product, contact a skilled Mass Tort Attorney for a free consultation. We are currently litigating many mass tort claims, including transvaginal mesh (TVM) claims, diet drugs, Granuflo dialysis complications, and Asbestos claims and we can advise you of your rights and the compensation you may be entitled to receive. Georgia has strict time limitations that must be adhered to, so contact us today to ensure you do not lose your right to compensation.


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