Judicial Panel Agrees with Defense that Pretrial Coordination Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 is Warranted for Two State Labor Law Class Action Lawsuits
Two class action lawsuits were filed against Terminix in the Central and Northern Districts of California alleging violations of state labor laws for failure to pay overtime to pest control technicians and for misclassifying the class members as exempt employees.. In re Terminix Employment Practices Litig., 466 F.Supp.2d 1354, 1354-55 (Jud. Pan.Mult.Lit. December 19, 2006). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, defense attorneys moved the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to centralize the lawsuits for pretrial purposes in the Northern District of California; plaintiffs did not respond to the motion. Id. The Judicial Panel agreed with defense attorneys that centralization was warranted and that the Central District of California was the appropriate transferee court. In rejecting the Central District of California, the Panel observed that the action had been pending in that federal court “for only a few months and is not far progressed”; the action in the Northern District, by contrast, “stands out as an appropriate transferee forum” and “mediation is underway” in that action. Id.