Judicial Panel Agrees Pretrial Coordination Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 is Warranted for Class Actions Involving Bluetooth Headsets and Grants Request, Supported by Defense and Plaintiffs in Other Class Actions, to Centralize Litigation in Central District of California
Numerous class action lawsuits – seeking both statewide and nationwide class certification – were filed in several states against Motorola, Plantronics, GN Jabra North America and GN Netcom, “seek[ing] relief under various theories of liability, such as unjust enrichment, breach of express and/or implied warranties, and strict products liability” based on the central allegation that use of Bluetooth headsets may cause hearing loss. In re Bluetooth Headset Prods. Liab. Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2007 WL 603063, *1 (Jud. Pan.Mult.Lit. February 20, 2007). Plaintiffs in a California class action filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to centralize the lawsuits for pretrial purposes in the Central District of California, where four of the class action cases already were pending and where Plantronics is headquartered; defense attorneys and plaintiffs’ lawyers supported the request. Id. The Judicial Panel agreed that pretrial coordination under 28 U.S.C. § 1407, and further agreed to the transferee location recommended by the moving plaintiffs.