MDL Class Action Lawsuits

MDL Class Action Lawyer

Dedicated Multidistrict Litigation Attorney Representing Injured Individuals in New Jersey and Nationwide in Claims Against the Companies Behind Defective Consumer Products, Drugs, and Medical Devices.

Through multidistrict litigation, or “MDL”, people injured by defective products, drugs, and medical devices, are able to file lawsuits against those that caused their injures. While an MDL is similar to a class action in that there are common claims between those who are injured, because each persons injury is different, each person can file their own individual claim or lawsuit. The benefit to a Plaintiff in an MDL is that they are able to bring an individual lawsuit for their injuries, while also sharing the costs of litigation with the other litigants. An MDL or Mass Tort lawyer at Team Law can help you understand what makes MDL cases unique and guide you through the litigation process. 

Start your claim with a free consultation by contacting Team Law today.

What is a Multidistrict Litigation?

A multidistrict litigation, also known as an MDL, is created when numerous people bring lawsuits against the same defendant due to that defendants’ negligence. These are typically involving claims against companies or corporations due to injuries suffered by individuals because of dangerous or defective consumer products, drugs and medical devices.

When this occurs, either the plaintiffs or defendants will apply to have the cases consolidated before one judge. The benefit to all parties is that to litigate each case individually would be very costly. However, due to the number of cases that are brought, many litigants in MDLs are often unable to ever have their case presented before a judge or jury at trial.

Once an MDL is established, the parties will often agree to what is called a “Plaintiff Fact Sheet” or PFS. The PFS is a document that each person bringing a claim is required to complete. The PFS may ask for information about the persons’ background (such as date of birth, place of birth, and education background), employment history, family history, medical history, and information about the injuries being alleged. Plaintiffs are often asked by the Defendants to provide authorizations for the Defendants to obtain medical records, insurance records, and employment records.

Once a PFS is completed, a party may be selected as a ‘bellwether’ or have their deposition or sworn statement under oath taken by the Defendant. Some cases may proceed to trial after the PFS and deposition are completed.

There are different types of civil legal matters. An MDL case brings together characteristics of individual lawsuits and characteristics of large cases known as class action lawsuits. 

MDL vs. Class Action

Mass tort cases involve injuries or losses sustained by a large group of people from the same product or type of product. 

In a class action lawsuit, four different elements must be met. First, there must be numerosity. In other words, there must be a large number of people bringing a claim against the defendant to create the ‘class’. Second, there must be commonality between the claims. This means that the potential members of the class must arise out of the same negligent conduct by the Defendant and result in the same injury.  Next, there must be typicality. This is met when the class representative’s claim represents the class as a whole. There also must be a showing that the class representative will provide adequate representation of the entire class. All plaintiffs in the case are included in the class, which is represented by a lead plaintiff or, potentially, a few lead plaintiffs, in a singular trial. The evidence of the defendant’s negligence or other alleged wrongdoing and the harm that resulted generally applies to all members of the class. The money awarded in this one trial is typically split between all plaintiffs. 

An MDL utilizes some of the same procedures of class action lawsuits but instead considers plaintiffs’ damages individually, as if each claim were being pursued separately.

The reason for this is that in an MDL the first two elements are the same (numerosity and commonality), but no class is established. No class is established because the injuries suffered are bodily injuries and, even if the injury suffered is the same, different ages, severity, and risk factors make the claims different. As an example, if a specific car make and model had an issue with a steering wheel it would be a class action, not an MDL, because the injury suffered by each person is the same. While there are some lead plaintiffs, usually known as bellwethers, everyone’s case is individual so if a case goes to trial and obtains a verdict, that award is the individuals.

When lawsuits against a particular defendant or over a particular product are consolidated into a multidistrict litigation case, here’s what to expect: 

The Benefits of MDLs for Plaintiffs 

For plaintiffs, there are numerous benefits of individual cases being consolidated into MDLs. A streamlined discovery process reduces the overall cost of litigation and shortens the time it would take to complete discovery before a trial commences. This results in time and cost savings for each individual whose case is consolidated into the MDL. 

Another important benefit of MDL cases is that the damages in an injury claim remain unique to the individual rather than being generalized to the whole class. These damages include not only the actual injury individuals were diagnosed with but may also include the medical and rehabilitation expenses they incurred because of that injury, any wage loss that results, and the pain and suffering and diminished quality of life they experience. 

For example, two individuals might both develop cancer that they attribute to the same product they used. The facts of their claim of the manufacturer’s negligence are the same. Their diagnoses may even be the same kind of cancer, but factors in which they may differ include: 

Calculating the amount of income lost depends on each individual’s salary or expected income and the extent to which each individual’s illness keeps them out of work. This, in turn, depends on the job they do and their work environment, as well as their overall health and the side effects they experience from treatment. 

Similarly, while both cancer patients may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, how much money they receive may depend on factors like the extent of invasive tests and treatments required. A patient who undergoes repeated rounds of chemotherapy and radiation along with one or more surgeries but whose cancer continues to spread will likely receive more compensation for pain and suffering than a patient whose cancer quickly went into remission without requiring more extensive treatment. 

In an MDL case, each of these individuals would receive compensation based on their unique damages. 

Types of Cases an MDL Class Action Lawyer at Team Law Can Handle for You 

The ongoing MDL cases for which you can currently turn to a multidistrict litigation attorney at Team Law include: 

The defective product lawyers at Team Law are continually investigating new mass tort cases and causes of action against the manufacturers of consumer products, medications, and medical devices. 

Contact an MDL Class Action Lawyer at Team Law Today for a Free Case Evaluation

There’s no upfront cost to hire a knowledgeable MDL class action lawyer to represent your interests. At Team Law, we review potential claims at no cost and work on contingency, advancing the upfront cost of our clients’ claims. You pay nothing for legal representation until we successfully get compensation for you. 

For help from an experienced multidistrict litigation attorney, contact Team Law online or call 1-800-TEAM-LAW today.

MDL Class Action Lawsuits Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Will My MDL Case Go to Trial?

Most cases involved in multidistrict litigation don’t go to trial. Only a few cases are selected as Bellwether cases. Even these may not necessarily go to trial if, during the course of the discovery process, the parties can reach an agreement to settle cases. 

Although individual lawsuits that aren’t selected as Bellwether cases may eventually proceed to trial, they are often settled out of court. Not having to go to trial reduces the costs of litigation and the time required to reach a resolution

How Much Are MDL Settlement Amounts?

Because multidistrict litigation settlements and verdicts consider the damages of each individual plaintiff, settlement amounts vary. Some MDL settlements are as low as a few thousand dollars, while others may exceed $1 million. However, there is no guarantee that any case settles.

Your MDL class action lawyer will calculate and document the full extent of your damages to seek a settlement or verdict that compensates you for all of your harms and losses.

Why Should I Hire a Seasoned MDL Lawyer at Team Law?

When you put your case in Team Law’s hands, you can count on your attorney to explain the claims process in the context of multidistrict litigation, handle all aspects of your legal matter for you, represent your interests at every stage, and answer all of your questions.

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