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Multidistrict Litigation v. Class Action Lawsuit: What’s the Difference?

by admin on September 26, 2012 in FAQs

Multidistrict Litigation v. Class Action

A “class action” lawsuit is one in which a group of people have been injured by the same parties under similar facts.

“MDL” stands for multidistrict litigation. A multidistrict litigation procedure is a purposed to speed the process of handling complex cases such as defective drugs or defective medical device cases.

In some cases for example, many people may have taken the same drug or have the same medical device installed and have been injured or killed by negligence.

There may be a pattern in how the injuries occurred, but each person may have different types of injuries or circumstances.

In an MDL, these individual cases are consolidated under one federal judge who will handle all of the investigation and proceedings as it relates to the common denominator (the drug or medical device) of the defendants.

Consolidating a case into an MDL relieves the effort it would take to gather and review all the evidence relevant to such large cases.

For large, nationwide cases, there would be millions of documents related to the case that have to be collected, and an MDL helps mitigate the complexities of such a case.

This helps mitigate the efforts of not only the companies in question, but also the individual plaintiff lawyers.

Both parties can move forward in the most cost effective manner through an MDL.

With the time-consuming work being taken care of, plaintiff lawyers can concentrate on proving the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

The Difference

MDL is not a type of class action.

A class action lawsuit is a large-scale civil proceeding typically presented because multiple clients have a shared interest in the same case.

Class actions may be transferred to an MDL consolidation in the same manner as single-plaintiff cases.

However for cases to be seen as an MDL, the Judicial Panel must find one or more common questions of fact.

If you or a loved one believes he or she may be eligible to become a part of either a class action or a multidistrict litigation, contact us today. We can help you hold the negligent party accountable.

Call us toll-free 1-888-GARRETT (1-888-427-7388) or fill out our contact form for a free legal consultation.

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