Chicago, IL asked in Products Liability for Illinois

Q: What is the diffrence between a mdl and a class action? Are the depuy Law suits now lumped together or not?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Robert D. Kreisman
Robert D. Kreisman
  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Multi-district litigation (MDL) is a procedure taken in federal court cases with many common parties and common claims. Usually MDLs are ordered by a panel of federal judges for pending class actions, but also for a collection of personal injury cases where they all have common theories of liability and the same defendants. The MDL operates only for the pre-trial procedures and the discovery portion of the cases with the idea that discovery would run much more efficiently if all the discovery were done at once rather dozens of times for the same basic set of facts. The MDL is run by one federal judge and magistrate. There has been a class action lawsuit filed in Illinois.

Michael J. Laszlo
Michael J. Laszlo
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Boulder, CO

A: In response to your inquiry regarding DePuy lawsuits being "lumped together" - currently, there is an MDL (MDL 2197) in the Northern District of Ohio before Judge Katz. That MDL involves the DePuy ASR Hip Implant. This is a Federal MDL, meaning only cases proceeding in federal courts in the U.S. would be involved. The DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant has not been made into an MDL, however, Plaintiffs Attorneys have sought creation of such an MDL and the Judicial Panel on Multi-district litigation will conduct a hearing on the issue on May 16, 2011 in Louisville, KY. It is not clear whether a potential DePuy Pinnacle MDL would join the ASR MDL 2197. There is not a federal DePuy class action, for either the ASR Implant or the Pinnacle Implant.

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