Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Grants § 1407 Motion to Centralize Pretrial Proceedings for Putative Nationwide Class Actions in District Where Defense Corporate Headquarters is Located
Six lawsuits, including five putative nationwide class action cases, were filed against McDonald’s which – though alleging various theories of liability – were all based on the central allegation that McDonald’s “misled the public regarding the presence of gluten, wheat or dairy derivatives in its french fries.” A motion was filed with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to consolidate pretrial proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 1407, and all parties agreed that the Northern District of Illinois was the appropriate transferee district. The Panel agreed, finding: “The Northern District of Illinois is a likely source of relevant documents and witnesses, inasmuch as McDonald’s headquarters is located there.” In re McDonald’s French Fries Litig., 444 F.Supp.2d 1342, 1343 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. 2006).