Judicial Panel Grants Defense Request for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, Unopposed by Class Action Plaintiffs, and Agrees to Transfers Class Actions to Middle District of Tennessee
Five class actions were filed in five different federal district courts against Nissan North America and others alleging that defendants “violated the Federal Odometer Act by similarly altering the odometers in Nissan and Infiniti vehicles to inflate the mileage driven.” In re Nissan North America, Inc., Odometer Litig. (No. II), ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. April 7, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1-2]. Defense attorneys for common defendant Nissan 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 Middle District of Tennessee; none of the class action plaintiffs opposed pretrial coordination, but lawyers for the Texas class action plaintiffs argued for transfer to the Eastern District of Texas. Id., at 1. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class actions, explaining in part that this would “prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, especially with respect to class certification,” id., at 1-2. The Panel also agreed with defense attorneys that the Middle District of Tennessee is the appropriate transferee court because Nissan’s headquarters are located in that district and “several parties anticipate that relevant discovery will be found there.” Id., at 2.