The Lipitor Multidistrict Litigation
The Lipitor Multidistrict Litigation
The Honorable Richard M. Gergel.
The Lipitor type II diabetes claims have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), to be heard in the District of South Carolina by the Honorable Judge Richard M. Gergel.
This is good news to the plaintiffs in the Lipitor lawsuit, who have been petitioning for a multidistrict litigation since early 2013.
Let’s first gain an understanding of what an MDL is.
What is Multidistrict Litigation?
A multidistrict litigation, abbreviated as an MDL, is a a way of organizing legal claims that are similar in nature. They may share at least one common complaint, common plaintiffs, and/or a common defendant.
As is the case with Lipitor, sometimes there are hundreds or even thousands of lawsuit claims that are very similar in nature. These claims may be spread throughout the United States, in multiple states and court districts, which can make things complicated.
A multidistrict litigation is a way of grouping similar claims, and proceeding with the pre-trial steps to litigation in one courtroom, instead of several across the country.
Both the plaintiffs, and the defendant have a right to petition for a multidistrict litigation.
Who Decides if an MDL should be Created?
The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is a group of seven federal judges, and it is up to them to determine if an MDL is necessary. Their role is to make decisions on two primary issues:
1. Are the claims that are being brought forth alike enough to create an MDL?
For example: Are the claimants suing for the same reasons? Is the complaint being made against the same defendant? (In the case of Lipitor, the defendant is Pfizer.)
2. What judge, judges, or district should hear the case?
Once the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decides to move forward and create an MDL, they will then choose an appropriate district and judge to hear the case. This is often based off of factors like where the plaintiffs or defendant are located.
In the case of the Lipitor lawsuit, many of the original complaints were filed in the District of South Carolina, which is where the new Lipitor MDL is located.
How an MDL Works
Consolidating claims into an MDL saves everybody time, money and effort. Pfizer no longer has to defend itself in multiple districts across the nation, and the plaintiffs now have the added benefit of having one judge and one court being experts in their case.
It is important to understand that an MDL is only for pre-trial proceedings and motions.
The claims are still considered individually in their original district once (and if) they actually go to court, but grouping them together for the pre-trial proceedings is simply more efficient for the court system, and often the plaintiffs and defendants involved as well.
Here, in the pre-trial stages, the claims might be dismissed if the judge does not feel they are valid and fit for litigation. Or it is possible to reach a settlement at this point in the process. Large corporations often would rather settle than continue to trial.
It is the plaintiff’s right to either accept, or reject any settlement (compensation) offered at this point in the process. If they are unsatisfied with the settlement offered, they can then take the claim to court in their original district.
Thus, if the pre-trial process is complete, and the case is going to move on to trial, the claim will be transferred back to its original court district. At this point the defendant is no longer negotiating the settlement; any compensation offered at this stage will be determined by the judge and jury.
The Lipitor MDL
The Lipitor petition for an MDL was originally denied by the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, back in 2013.
At that time there were only a few plaintiffs, and although it certainly appeared that the number of lawsuits would increase, the panel decided not to approve an MDL on the basis of possible future lawsuit claims.
However, the claims of Lipitor type II diabetes continued to pour in, the number increasing from just a few, to now nearly 1,000 claims.
The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has now looked into it again, and decided to create a Lipitor MDL, despite resistance from Pfizer. The panel concluded, “…centralization will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.”
The Lipitor type II diabetes claims have now been centralized under the District of South Carolina; the cases are to be heard by the Honorable Judge Richard M. Gergel for “consolidated pretrial proceedings.”
Why an MDL is Beneficial to You
The Lipitor multidistrict litigation is a way of handling hundreds of similar claims, without making use of the class action lawsuit method.
Class action lawsuits are a single lawsuit filed from multiple plaintiffs, and any compensation award is then divided evenly between the plaintiffs. The Lipitor lawsuit is not technically a class action lawsuit, which is a common misconception.
Here why this is good news to you if you are considering filing a Lipitor lawsuit:
In an MDL, each case that goes to court is considered individually. This means that settlements are award to the individual, with respect to their unique situation and medical needs. Some claimants have been hurt more than others, and will require higher amounts of compensation to cover their medical costs and losses.
In a class action lawsuit, sometimes so many plaintiffs join that after legal fees, individuals are issued very small checks that have been divided among the masses. This won’t happen with an MDL. Instead, your own individual needs will be taken into consideration by a court of law, and the settlement awarded will be what the court considers fair.
This is another reason why it is so crucial to hire the right legal counsel to represent you in your Lipitor claim. Working with an experienced, well-informed Lipitor lawyer is the best thing you can do in order to get the compensation you deserve, and begin to heal.
Here at Consumer Claims Center of America we are proud to be working with the best pharmaceutical injury attorneys in the field, and if you are eligible for a claim we are confident that we can get you a maximum Lipitor settlement.
Our free consultation is simple and easy. Fill out the online Lipitor Lawsuit Form located on the right of this page, or simply call the number below to begin your Lipitor Lawsuit today.
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