Judicial Panel Grants Request, Unopposed by Defense, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the Easter District of Pennsylvania
Eight class action lawsuits were filed against CertainTeed Corp. and other defendants advancing negligence and products liability based on alleged defects in roofing shingles manufactured, warranted, and distributed by CertainTeed. In re CertainTeed Corp. Roofing Shingle Prods. Liab. Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2007 WL 549356, *1 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. February 15, 2007). Plaintiff’s lawyer in one of the Pennsylvania class actions filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; defense attorneys for the common defendant (CertainTeed) supported the motion. Id. The Judicial Panel reasoned that “Centralization under Section 1407 is necessary in order to eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, particularly with respect to issues of class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.” Id. The Panel also found that the Eastern District of Pennsylvania “stands out as an appropriate transferee forum” in light of the “agreement of all moving and responding parties to transfer,” id. Additionally, CertainTeed is headquartered in that district, as is its business unit responsible for the roofing shingles in question. Id.