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Class Action Defense Cases—In re Depo-Provera: Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Agrees with Defense And Denies Motion To Centralize Personal Injury Cases With Class Action Litigation

Judicial Panel Denies Request, Opposed by Defense, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 Because Centralization will not Further Efficient Conduct of Class Action Litigation

Three lawsuits, including one class action, were filed against Pfizer and others alleging products liability claims. In re Depo-Provera Products Liab. Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2007 WL 2301928, *1 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. August 6, 2007). Plaintiff’s lawyers in the two California actions 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 District of New Jersey, where the class action lawsuit was pending, id. Defense attorneys argued that pretrial coordination was inappropriate, id. The Judicial Panel agreed with defense attorneys and denied the motion to centralize the California cases with the New Jersey class action, id. The Panel explained at page *1, “[W]e are not persuaded that Section 1407 centralization would serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses or further the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. This motion involves only three actions. One action is a medical monitoring putative class action, while the other two actions are personal injury actions, which have already been consolidated before one judge in the Northern District of California. The proponents of centralization have failed to convince us that any common questions of fact among these three actions are sufficiently complex and/or numerous to justify Section 1407 transfer at this time.”