Judicial Panel Grants Request, Unopposed by Defense, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 but Rejects Moving Plaintiff’s Request to Transfer Class Actions to Southern District of Iowa
Class action lawsuits were filed in Iowa and California federal courts against Midland National Life Insurance Company alleging deceptive marketing and sale of annuities to seniors. In re Midland Nat’l Life Ins. Co. Annuity Sales Prac. Litig., 484 F.Supp.2d 1355, 1356 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. May, 2 2007). Plaintiff’s lawyer in the Iowa class action 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 Southern District of Iowa; defense attorneys agreed that pretrial coordination of the class actions was appropriate and agreed with the proposed transferee court. Id. The California plaintiffs did not oppose centralization of the class action lawsuits but argued that the cases should be transferred to the Central District of California. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class actions, and concluded that while either of the federal court would be an appropriate transferee court, the class action litigation should be centralized in the Central District of California “because the California action appears to be slightly broader and somewhat more procedurally advanced than the Iowa action.” Id.