Multidistrict litigation, or MDL, has two defining factors: (1) only for civil cases, and (2) must be brought in federal court. The Federal court system uses this method to save time and resources but also to have consistent court rulings for separate lawsuits that involve vastly similar issues.
Multidistrict litigation is the process of simplifying complex civil lawsuits that arise out of the same course of conduct across multiple court districts to one federal district court. To find out if your injuries require the filing or joining of multidistrict litigation lawsuits, contact a multidistrict litigation attorney at Colson Hicks Eidson today.
If we are able to take on your case, we will use our knowledge and experience to develop the best litigation strategies to pursue a successful multi-district litigation lawsuit.
What Is the Difference Between Class-Action Lawsuits and Multidistrict Litigation Cases?
A class action lawsuit involves filing a single lawsuit for numerous plaintiffs (the class) against a defendant. In a multidistrict litigation suit, the cases will be assigned to a single district court, which will then handle all pretrial and discovery proceedings. The defining factor in MDL is that it involves a larger number of lawsuits, where a class action is one lawsuit.
Multidistrict cases may deal with a common defendant, however, the degree and type of damage involved often vary from claim to claim. This is why the same court will address the issues of each case separately.
Another way MDL is different from a class-action lawsuit is that each plaintiff will most likely receive different compensation amounts, which correspond to the extent of their damages. Multidistrict litigation speeds up the pre-trial process by pooling together information, deposing each witness only one time (as opposed to separately for each case), and evidence from similar cases.
Multidistrict Litigation Process for Beginners
You can think of multidistrict litigation as a group of personal injury cases similar in nature that have occurred across multiple states, involving multiple individual cases that are all brought together at a federal level. When your case becomes or joins an MDL, you can expect the following processes from federal district court:
- Your multidistrict litigation attorney will gather evidence during discovery
- There may be motions to dismiss the case, a summary judgment, or challenges to evidence that either party hopes to introduce
- Both parties will obtain the depositions they need to support or refute the case
- The case may settle, otherwise, a decision will be made by the judge
If you have additional questions about what to expect when your case becomes or joins a multidistrict litigation case, reach out to our office to discuss the specific circumstances of your injuries or illness.
How Will Multidistrict Litigation Affect Your Case?
Pursuing a claim through multidistrict litigation will change how your case proceeds through the pre-trial process. This will not likely impact the outcome of your cases or your ability to recover fair compensation. Multidistrict litigation will reduce the amount of time you spend on the case because it will most likely take place miles away from where you sustained the injury. This can be good and bad, bad because you will feel isolated from the case proceedings, and good because you will not have to spend hours prepping, interviewing, and being deposed.
The benefits of a multidistrict litigation for you, the plaintiff, include:
- Possibility of more compensation because the legal fees will be reduced
- The likelihood of publicity could lead to more victims filing claims
- The laws that apply to the case can vary by the location (this could help or hinder your case)
- MDL cases are more likely to reach conclusion by settlement rather than in court
The most common cases for MDLs are mass tort cases such as products liability, pharmaceutical errors, and defective medical devices. You can find out whether your case qualifies for multidistrict litigation when you contact our office to discuss the specific details of your case.
Statute of Limitations for Multidistrict Litigation
One of the things that makes multidistrict litigation so complex is the statute of limitations. There are many factors that can have an impact on how long you will have to get your case started. Some of these factors include which jurisdiction you have filed your case and when you became ill or injured, for example.
Both federal and state laws could have an impact on how long you have to join an existing MDL. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may even be able to get the statute of limitation tolled. This means that the statute of limitations could be extended. To find out how much longer you have to get your case filed, or whether the statute of limitations has already expired for you, contact a multidistrict litigation attorney for help.
How Are Victims Compensated in Multidistrict Litigation Cases?
Because multidistrict litigation cases often involve many individuals harmed by the same thing, many people often assume that their individual damages are not important. However, multidistrict litigation cases are unique in that every claimant maintains their own damages in addition to the lawsuit as a whole.
This means that your attorney will need to carefully document all of the ways that your life has been affected by the injuries you sustained in order to ensure that you are awarded maximum compensation for your suffering. Some of the different losses that you could recover as part of your case include:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Lost benefits
- Physical pain
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Healthcare expenses relating to your injury or illness
- Punitive damages
Contact a Multidistrict Litigation Attorney Today
Multidistrict litigation is a more complicated process than most injury lawsuits, which is why it is important to have an experienced Florida multidistrict litigation attorney on your side. You need to feel secure in your attorney’s ability to represent your case. The attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson will effectively and strategically fight for the rights and compensation of each and every client.
Filing a lawsuit can be stressful, especially when suffering an injury, which is why our multidistrict litigation attorneys are here for you through every step of the process. If you have experienced a defective product, data breach, unfair business practice, or disaster at the hands of a company, the Florida class multidistrict litigation attorneys of Colson Hicks Eidson may be able to assist you. You can contact us for a free consultation by filling out our online contact form or by calling us at 305-476-7400.