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 Transfers Actions to Eastern District of California
Two class actions were filed in the Central and Eastern Districts of California against Payless ShoeSource alleging violations of California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act; specifically, the class action complaints allege that “Payless requests and records customers’ personal identification information in violation of California Civil Code § 1747.08.” In re Payless ShoeSource, Inc., California Song-Beverly Credit Card Act Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. April 9, 2009) [Slip Opn., at 1]. Defense attorneys 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 Eastern District of Pennsylvania; plaintiffs in both class actions reportedly supported the motion, though they did not respond to it. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits, finding that centralization of the class actions “will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.” Id. The Judicial Panel further agreed that the Eastern District of California was the appropriate transferee court, particularly as no party opposed centralization in that district. Id.