Judicial Panel Grants Request, Unopposed by Defense, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407
Four class action lawsuits (three in Massachusetts and one in California) were filed against Webloyalty.com and various other defendants alleging that they “engaged in a scheme to defraud consumers whose personal and/or credit card information was accessed by Webloyalty during online transactions (with the defendant web retailer(s) involved in each action) as part of Webloyalty’s Reservation Rewards or other programs.” In re Webloyalty.com, Inc., Marketing & Sales Practices Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2007 WL 549354, *1 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. February 15, 2007). Plaintiffs in the three class actions pending in Massachusetts filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class action lawsuits pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the District of Massachusetts. Defense attorneys for the common defendant (Webloyalty), defense attorneys for the various individual defendants in each class action, and the California plaintiffs’ lawyer agreed that pretrial coordination was appropriate, and that the District of Massachusetts was the appropriate transferee court. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class actions. The Panel further agreed that the District of Massachusetts was the appropriate transferee court, explaining that in addition to the unanimous agreement of the parties, “Webloyalty is headquartered nearby and it is likely to be the source of a substantial number of witnesses and documents subject to discovery.” Id.
NOTE: The individual class action defendants included, among others, Fandango, Priceline.com, JustFlowers.com, GiftBasketsASAP.com and Valueclick.