What is Multi District Litigation?

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

Harmful products which are designed or manufactured by large corporations are often the cause of catastrophic injuries and deaths.  Often times, individuals harmed by a product may have called a telephone number they saw on television and had been put in touch with a law firm which submitted their case to be part of Multi District Litigation (“MDL”).

What does an MDL mean?  An MDL is a very specific process wherein federal cases with the same or similar facts are transferred to one federal court to be handled by one, specific judge.  Once the transfer occurs, all cases identified by the federal court and the parties as having some type of common fact pattern which would benefit from being part of the consolidated case, will be coordinated and consolidated for pretrial proceedings.

The following types of cases commonly qualify as an MDL:

  • Cow’s milk formula
  • Mass disasters
  • Medical devices
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Other product liability claims.

An MDL case will involve multiple lawsuits which are filed by several parties.  The goal is to allow for an individual client’s needs to be addressed during the MDL.  This is different than a Class Action.  On the other hand, a Class Action involves a single lawsuit filed by a large group of people.  In a Class Action, the claims of all those people are consolidated into one legal action.

At Kaveny + Kroll, we have experience in handling cases that are heading toward an MDL or have been placed into an MDL by other courts.  At Kaveny + Kroll, we evaluate each case and treat each client no different than an individual case.  If you have a case in an MDL or want to discuss how we can assist you further, please do not hesitate to give our Mass Tort Lawyers at Kaveny + Kroll a phone call at 312-761-5585.