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Levaquin Side Effects Lawsuit – Levaquin Multidistrict Litigation – What is it, how does it work?

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Author: Shirley Mayer


The Levaquin Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) is being handled in the United States District Court - District of Minnesota. The first initial informal status conference was held on August 6, 2008.

The MDL consists of cases involving the drug Levaquin. Levaquin is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including upper respiratory infections and skin infections. Plaintiffs that have been prescribed Levaquin are alleging that it causes tendons to rupture and that the defendants' warnings about this alleged side effect were inadequate.

Defendants Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, LLC allegedly developed, manufacture and market Levaquin. The Defendants are denying that Levaquin is defective or unreasonably dangerous. Defendants are also denying that they failed to provide adequate warnings.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determined that centralizing the Levaquin Tendon Rupture cases was appropriate. Based on a number of factors, the Judicial Panel determined that the District of Minnesota was an appropriate forum. All Levaquin Tendon Rupture federal cases have been ordered transferred to the District of Minnesota.

What is multidistrict litigation?

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a federal legal procedure in which all pending civil cases of a similar type with common questions of fact that have been filed throughout the United States are transferred to one federal judge for pre-trial proceedings. The purpose of this procedure is to speed up the process of handling complex cases in the federal court system, such as product liability suits or patent infringement cases. By centralizing the pre-trial process, the resources of the parties, counsel and judiciary are conserved and duplicative discovery and inconsistent pretrial rulings can be avoided. This process is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1407 of the United States Code.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) is the special body that has the authority to decide whether civil actions pending in more than one jurisdiction should be consolidated and where they should be transferred. The JPML is a panel of seven district or appeal court judges from different judicial circuits who are appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407. The Panel members continue to serve as judges in their appointed courts, but they periodically meet to review requests to consolidate in various locations around the country in order to facilitate the participation of parties and their counsel.

The Panel's decision to consolidate is based on a number of criteria, with the first and foremost being whether there are one or more common questions of fact. Also considered is whether transfer would be convenient for the parties and witnesses, the residence of the principal witnesses, the locations where the actions were initially filed and the likelihood that transfer will avoid conflicting rulings. Economy and convenience become the prevailing factors. Once it is determined that transfer is appropriate, the Panel must select the appropriate judicial district to handle the litigation. There are no statutory guidelines governing the assignment of the consolidated case, but the Panel considers the location of the judicial district in relation to that of the parties, the business headquarters of the parties, the location with the most relevant documents, and how easily the location of a judicial district can be reached. Ultimately, the Panel seeks to place transferred cases in courts that have the time to oversee the complexities of the litigation.


About the author: Shirley Mayer is author of this article on Levaquin Lawsuit Attorneys.

Find more information about Levaquin Lawsuit here http://www.levaquinsideeffectslawsuit.com.


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