Judicial Panel Rejects Defense Request for Pretrial Coordination Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the Southern District of New York and Agrees with Plaintiffs that Central District of California is Appropriate Court
Several class action lawsuits were filed in New York, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania against Wachovia Corp., Wachovia Securities, First Union Securities and/or Prudential Equity Group alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or state labor laws for failure to pay overtime to securities brokers. In re Wachovia Securities, LLC, Wage & Hour Litig., 469 F.Supp.2d 1346, 1347 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. 2006). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, plaintiffs filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to centralize the lawsuits for pretrial purposes in the Northern District of Illinois; defense attorneys agreed that pretrial coordination was warranted under 28 U.S.C. § 1407 but requested transfer to the Southern District of New York. Id. Eleven (11) potentially related “tag-along” actions were filed, including six in the Central District of California, id. n.1, and all plaintiffs concurred that the Central District of California would be an appropriate forum for the litigation, id. The Panel agreed with the parties that centralization was warranted but rejected the forum requested by defense attorneys, selecting the Central District of California as the appropriate transferee court. Id.