Our experienced attorneys have chosen to file only individual personal injury lawsuits. Class action would require a select group of plaintiffs to represent the interests of thousands of people who have been hurt in different ways. Needless to say, that wouldn’t work for Xarelto-linked injuries.
What Is Multi-District Litigation?
Rather than class action, Xarelto lawsuits are currently being handled as a Multi-district Litigation. Class actions and Multi-District Litigation get mixed up sometimes, but they are actually very different. Multi-District Litigation, or MDL, is a litigation management structure often applied to mass tort cases, in which multiple plaintiffs make very similar allegations the same defendants.
MDL is a mechanism that enables thousands of cases to move forward quickly through the court system, expedites the judicial process for both sides, and saves on judicial resources.
How MDL Works
Once a mass tort has several filings, both the plaintiffs and defendants can petition a panel of federal judges, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation, to bring these claims together in an MDL. Once approved, the similar lawsuits are transferred to a central court, where defense and plaintiffs’ attorneys can gather to collaborate in developing evidence and legal arguments.
Multi-District Litigation allows lawyers to focus on organizing the cases and discovery in preparation for initial trials and settlement talks.
Are The Xarelto Cases In An MDL?
On December 4th, 2014, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all pending federally-filed Xarelto lawsuits. All these federal Xarelto lawsuits were centralized in the Eastern District of Louisiana, a court in New Orleans. District Judge Eldon Fallon has been selected to preside over the MDL, which has been dubbed MDL 2592 Xarelto Products Liability Litigation.
Today, three years after its formation, thousands of lawsuits are gathered together in Louisiana. As in many Multi-District Litigations, Judge Fallon has scheduled a slate of preliminary “bellwether” trials; a total of forty cases have been selected to move forward.
Bellwether Trials Set The Course
These initial trials are crucial. For one thing, forty plaintiffs will have their cases decided by actual juries and, while those decisions will have no direct impact on other claims, the results can make a big difference in settlement negotiations. After a number of bellwether trials, both sides of the dispute will have gained a better sense of where they stand. Did plaintiffs’ arguments persuade the jury, or did defense counsel carry the day? And, most importantly, how should we proceed?
A defendant who loses several initial trials now knows, at the worst, that the future may hold only more defeats in store. Maybe settling the claims entirely becomes an attractive option. In the same way, a string of defense wins could only strengthen a defendant’s confidence, proving that fighting each case at trial is the right choice.
At any rate, we are still in the relatively-early stages of this litigation. While Judge Fallon has selected forty cases for trial, only three of these trials have actually happened. Unfortunately, federal juries in Louisiana and Mississippi have so far failed to return a verdict in favor of plaintiffs. But again, there are still 37 trials to go and no one knows what the future holds. Plaintiffs attorneys are still convinced that their arguments will win the day.
Read More On Xarelto