What follows is from the non-Dechert side of the blog.

The history of the Zantac MDL has been one novel claim after another from the plaintiffs’ side.  Fortunately, the vast majority of those ideas have gotten nowhere.  That’s what most recently happened in In re Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, ___ F.R.D. ___, 2023 WL 1797264 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 7, 2023).  The plaintiffs filed something entitled “Expedited Motion to Permit Multi-Plaintiff Complaints for Registry Claimants.”  This was the plaintiffs’ attempt to avoid paying filing fees for around 58,000 “registry claimants” − who are now obligated to make up their minds and file their complaints – or forever hold their peace.Continue Reading Zantac MDL Zaps Crazy Consolidation Claims

Yes, we’re well aware of the latest development in the Pelvic Mesh MDL.  See Mullins v. Ethicon, Inc., C.A. No. 2:12-cv-02952, slip op. (S.D.W. Va. Aug. 4, 2015).  However, due to Reed Smith’s Pelvic Mesh representations, we’re constrained in what we can say.  We’ll just have to let prior, non-Mesh posts speak for us

We’ve blogged several times in opposition to consolidation of individual plaintiffs’ lawsuits in product liability actions.  The only thing that plaintiffs seeking consolidation for trial have in common is that:  (1) they were allegedly injured by the same product, and (2) they are trying to salvage weak cases by attempting to prejudice the defendants’ defense.  Strong plaintiffs’ cases stand on their own, so why bother with consolidation?

One thing we know about mass torts, through years of experience, is that for lots of reasons most individual cases in any given mass tort are poor, as in weak.  So consolidation requests show up frequently in mass torts.  One of the busiest mass torts currently is Aredia/Zometa, so it’s no surprise to find consolidation attempts there.  The only question is whether the courts will throw these plaintiffs the lifeline they’re seeking.  Happily, that doesn’t seem to be happening.

The first consolidation attempt, in Guenther v. Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp., 2012 WL 5398219 (Mag. M.D. Fla. Oct. 12, 2012), adopted 2012 WL 5305995 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 29, 2012), failed because the two plaintiffs involved “filed their claims separately years apart, did not use the same [defendant’s] products, allegedly used [those] products at different times, have different medical and dental histories, were treated by different physicians, have identified different expert witnesses . . ., are pursuing different legal theories under different laws, and seek different damages.”  Id. at *1.  That’s pretty typical of attempted consolidations.Continue Reading Consolidation Fails In Aredia/Zometa

Sometimes bad enough should just be left alone.  That’s what a bunch of plaintiffs (and/or their lawyers) found out the other day from the Seventh Circuit in Abbott Laboratories, v. Alexander, Nos. 12-8020, et al., slip op. (7th Cir. Oct. 16, 2012).  Even when actions are filed in notoriously pro-plaintiff jurisdictions plaintiffs can’t get away with anything and everything – although they sure tried in Alexander.
Here’s what happened.  In 2010 and 2011 said bunch of plaintiffs – “several hundred” according to the court (id. at 2) – filed ten identical actions in three Illinois counties against the same defendant concerning the same drug.  Apparently plaintiffs are allowed to get away with such mass-misjoinders in Illinois.  See Anderson v. Bayer, 610 F.3d 390, 393 (7th Cir. 2010).  Can you guess the three Illinois counties where these filings occurred?  We sure could:
Madison.
St. Clair.
Cook.
That kind of huge misjoinder, barred in most places, was bad enough, but then the plaintiffs decided to prejudice the defendant even more by seeking consolidation of their prior complaints (with at minimum dozens of plaintiffs each) into one big unhappy monster:

Plaintiffs asked for consolidation of their lawsuits in St. Clair County because the cases “present common questions of fact . . . as well as common questions of law. . . .”  In the memorandum in support of their motion, plaintiffs said they were requesting consolidation of the cases “through trial” and “not solely for pretrial proceedings.”

Alexander, slip op. at 3 (document citations omitted).
Oops.  Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered (or is it vice versa).  That was a bit much even for pro-plaintiff venues.  Plaintiffs – very unintentionally, we’re sure − triggered the “mass action” provision of CAFA by requesting such a consolidation.Continue Reading Consolidation Request Backfires On Plaintiffs

When Summer temperatures rise, our analytical ambitions drop. Torpor sets in, and it sets in hard. It is no accident that it is in July and August when our posts are most likely to contain more pop culture than precedent. (Here is one of our favorite examples.) Meanwhile, this is also the time of

Every once in a while, we find ourselves on a federal government corner of the internet, and we usually are surprised to discover (or are reminded) that these webpages often have materials that are worth knowing about, even downright useful, for our type of practice. 

These sites are not always easy to navigate, however, so

St. Louis City courts have long been considered among the most pro-plaintiff in the country and for years litigation tourists flocked there using multi-plaintiff complaints with a single city resident to secure the venue.  Then the world changed in 2019.  The Missouri Supreme Court decided State ex rel. Johnson & Johnson v. Burlison, 567