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Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyers

Bringing over 75 years of experience to your case with proven ability, dedication and ethics

Walsh Woodard has the highest personal injury verdict in Connecticut in the last 5 years*

MASS TORT LITIGATION

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What is Mass Tort or Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)?

How does Mass Tort Litigation differ from a civil lawsuit?

What statute allows all federal cases to be sent to one judge?

What happens to my case once it is filed in an MDL?

Is there a Statute of Limitations on Mass Tort Litigations?

How much money will a Mass Tort Litigation cost me?

Why should I select Walsh Woodard LLC to handle my case?

What Mass Tort cases are currently being accepted by Walsh Woodard?


What is Mass Tort or Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)?

Mass Tort litigation or Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) is a legal proceeding whereby a group of people (the plaintiffs) with similar legal complaints against a common defendant (usually a drug or medical supply manufacturer) are jointly represented by attorneys in one lawsuit in a multidistrict litigation. When such cases involve civil actions, they may be transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to one federal court under one judge for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings. The combined claims of all the plaintiffs are resolved in this one consolidated proceeding.


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How does Mass Tort Litigation differ from a civil lawsuit?

As stated above, a mass tort case involves a large number of plaintiffs with a similar legal complaint.  The cases can come from all over the United States.  Once an MDL is established, all cases are filed in the district designated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).  For instance, a Wisconsin district court could be designated as the court for all plaintiffs from any state to file their case regarding a particular mass tort lawsuit; so then a Connecticut plaintiff’s case would be filed in a Wisconsin court.

In a standard civil lawsuit, there is typically one plaintiff who is bringing a case against one or more defendants.  The case must be filed in a specific venue by an attorney admitted to practice law in that state.   The case is usually handled by one law firm from start to finish and only one case at a time is heard by the court.

Because mass tort actions cover hundreds, or even thousands of cases against product defendants, the cases have a steering committee of lawyers to oversee the cases and, when ordered by the court, hold initial trials called Bellwether trials.  Counsel for plaintiffs, such as Walsh Woodard, frequently work with the committee to ensure that its clients’ claims are included in any potential settlement.


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What statute allows all federal cases to be sent to one judge?

The federal statute that permits consolidation is 28 U.S.C., TITLE 28 – JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE, PART IV – JURISDICTION AND VENUE, CHAPTER 87 – DISTRICT COURTS; VENUE Sec. 1407. Multidistrict litigation.

(a) When civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts, such actions may be transferred to any district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.  Such transfers shall be made by the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation authorized by this section upon its determination that transfers for such proceedings will be for the convenience of parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions. Each action so transferred shall be remanded by the panel at or before the conclusion of such pretrial proceedings to the district from which it was transferred unless it shall have been previously terminated: provided, however, that the panel may separate any claim, cross-claim, counter-claim, or third-party claim and remand any of such claims before the remainder of the action is remanded.

(b) Such coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings shall be conducted by a judge or judges to whom such actions are assigned by the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation. For this purpose, upon request of the panel, a circuit judge or a district judge may be designated and assigned temporarily for service in the transferee district by the Chief Justice of the United States or the chief judge of the circuit, as may be required, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 13 of this title. With the consent of the transferee district court, such actions may be assigned by the panel to a judge or judges of such district. The judge or judges to whom such actions are assigned, the members of the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation, and other circuit and district judges designated when needed by the panel, may exercise the powers of a district judge in any district for the purpose of conducting pretrial depositions in such coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.

(c) Proceedings for the transfer of an action under this section may be initiated by –

(i) The judicial panel on multidistrict litigation upon its own initiative, or

(ii) Motion filed with the panel by a party in any action in which transfer for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings under this section may be appropriate.  A copy of such motion shall be filed in the district court in which the moving party’s action is pending.  The panel shall give notice to the parties in all actions in which transfers for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings are contemplated, and such notice shall specify the time and place of any hearing to determine whether such transfer shall be made.  Orders of the panel to set a hearing and other orders of the panel issued prior to the order either directing or denying transfer shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the district court in which a transfer hearing is to be or has been held.  The panel’s order of transfer shall be based upon a record of such hearing at which material evidence may be offered by any party to an action pending in any district that would be affected by the proceedings under this section, and shall be supported by findings of fact and conclusions of law based upon such record.  Orders of transfer and such other orders as the panel may make thereafter shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the district court of the transferee district and shall be effective when thus filed.  The clerk of the transferee district court shall forthwith transmit a certified copy of the panel’s order to transfer to the clerk of the district court from which the action is being transferred.  An order denying transfer shall be filed in each district wherein there is a case pending in which the motion for transfer has been made.

(d) The judicial panel on multidistrict litigation shall consist of seven circuit and district judges designated from time to time by the Chief Justice of the United States, no two of whom shall be from the same circuit. The concurrence of four members shall be necessary to any action by the panel.

(e) No proceedings for review of any order of the panel may be permitted except by extraordinary writ pursuant to the provisions of title 28, section 1651, United States Code.  Petitions for an extraordinary writ to review an order of the panel to set a transfer hearing and other orders of the panel issued prior to the order either directing or denying transfer shall be filed only in the court of appeals having jurisdiction over the district in which a hearing is to be or has been held. Petitions for an extraordinary writ to review an order to transfer or orders subsequent to transfer shall be filed only in the court of appeals having jurisdiction over the transferee district.  There shall be no appeal or review of an order of the panel denying a motion to transfer for consolidated or coordinated proceedings.

(f) The panel may prescribe rules for the conduct of its business not inconsistent with Acts of Congress and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(g) Nothing in this section shall apply to any action in which the United States is a complainant arising under the antitrust laws. ”Antitrust laws” as used herein include those acts referred to in the Act of October 15, 1914, as amended (38 Stat. 730; 15 U.S.C. 12), and also include the Act of June 19, 1936 (49 Stat. 1526; 15 U.S.C. 13, 13a, and 13b) and the Act of September 26, 1914, as added March 21, 1938 (52 Stat. 116, 117; 15 U.S.C. 56);but shall not include section 4A of the Act of October 15, 1914, as added July 7, 1955 (69 Stat. 282; 15 U.S.C. 15a).

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1404 or subsection (f) of this section, the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation may consolidate and transfer with or without the consent of the parties, for both pretrial purposes and for trial, any action brought under section 4C of the Clayton Act.

 


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What happens to my case once it is filed in an MDL?

As explained above, once individual plaintiffs’ cases are combined into an MDL, the MDL judge sets the schedule of the case with pretrial orders.  Once a case is part of an MDL, Walsh Woodard completes – with the assistance of the client – a plaintiff fact questionnaire for the purpose of proving the injury which is the subject of the lawsuit.  The questionnaire is very detailed.  Once the questionnaire is filed, plaintiffs are not expected to go to hearings or trial (unless their case is chosen as a Bellwether trial case).  Indeed, after completing the questionnaire there is little else required of the plaintiff until settlement.


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Is there a Statute of Limitations on Mass Tort Litigations?

Yes, there is a statute of limitations on these types of actions and they can be different for each state.  If you have specific questions about statutes of limitation, please call and we will review your case and any applicable statute of limitation.  Do not delay because if the statute of limitations runs on your case, you will be time barred from bringing an action.


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What is a Bellwether trial?

In an MDL, the parties try to settle most or all of the cases during the pre-trial process.  But this is not always possible.  In that event, an MDL judge may conduct a few initial trials.  Bellwether trials often lead to settlement negotiations.


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How much money will a Mass Tort Litigation cost me?

Walsh Woodard LLC handles mass tort lawsuits on a contingency fee basis.  By way of brief summary, this means that there is no charge to you unless and until the plaintiffs prevail and recover compensation.   At that time, one-third of your portion of the recovered compensation, plus expenses incurred by Walsh Woodard on your behalf, is retained by Walsh Woodard LLC and the rest of your portion of the settlement amount is sent to you.  The complete terms of the contingency fee agreement are placed in writing for your benefit, and it is the terms of the written agreement that control.


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Why should I select Walsh Woodard LLC to handle my case?

Walsh Woodard LLC traces its history back to 1949.  Today, the firm practices civil and appellate litigation, representing individuals who suffer personal injury or financial harm from negligence, medical malpractice, legal malpractice and the wrongful denial of long-term disability insurance.  Mike Walsh leads the firm’s mass tort litigation group, and has nearly 30 years’ experience representing injured victims in civil litigation.  For more information about our credentials, please see our About Us and Attorneys pages.


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What Mass Tort cases are currently being accepted by Walsh Woodard?

The Walsh Woodard firm is actively accepting the following cases:

1. Xarelto

Xarelto is a drug that is prescribed as a blood thinner or anticoagulant.  Xarelto has been linked to serious bleeding events that often result in hospitalizations, or require blood transfusions, sometimes even leading to death.

For detailed information on the Xarelto lawsuit and/or to see if you or a loved one may have a Xarelto case, go to this link.  For a free consultation go to this link or call Walsh Woodard at 860-549-8440.

2. IVC Filters

An IVC Filter is filter placed in a patient’s Inferior Vena Cava, the largest vein in the human body, to prevent blood clots from traveling from the lower extremities to the patient’s lungs, heart or brain.  It has been established that IVC Filters can dislodge; pieces of the IVC Filter can break off and potentially harm the patient; and a blood clot(s) can form at the IVC Filter implantation site and restrict blood flow through the vein.  Once placed, it may be very difficult to remove an IVC Filter.

A few different companies manufacture the IVC Filter.  For detailed information on the IVC Filter lawsuit and/or to see if you or a loved one may have an IVC Filter case, go to this link.  For a free consultation go to this link or call Walsh Woodard at 860-549-8440.

3. Taxotere

Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug primarily prescribed for the treatment of breast cancer, and less often for other cancers.  Taxotere received FDA approval for use in 1996.  For almost 20 years, Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer of Taxotere, failed to include a sufficient warning that the drug can cause permanent hair loss in some patients.  (In 2015, the FDA required that the label be changed to include this warning.)

For detailed information on the Taxotere lawsuit and/or to see if you or a loved one may have a Taxotere case, go to this link.  For a free consultation go to this link or call Walsh Woodard at 860-549-8440.


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