August 8, 2012 — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has assigned Pradaxa litigation into one federal court, before Judge David Herndon, in the Southern District of Illinois. The order will centralize 21 Pradaxa lawsuits pending in 11 district courts throughout the U.S. These lawsuits and any Pradaxa lawsuits filed in the future will be transferred to Judge Herndon’s Illinois court.
The order was filed on August 8, 2012.
The parties all supported the formation of a Pradaxa MDL, but they disagreed about where the MDL should be located. The only party that did not support the Illinois venue as their first or second choice was defendant Boehringer Ingelheim, which preferred Connecticut because that is where the U.S. division of the German company is headquartered.
The JPMDL decided on the Illinois venue for several reasons. One was that Southern Illinois is central in the U.S., and the Pradaxa litigation is spread throughout the nation. Another reason is that there is already a Pradaxa lawsuit pending in state court involving at least 70 plaintiffs, and the choice of Illinois will facilitate the transfer of this matter to federal court.
Another major reason is that Judge Herndon has experience handing another large pharmaceutical products liability litigation — he is currently presiding over the Yaz and Yasmin litigation involving at least 12,000 lawsuits. Those lawsuits are settling at a rapid pace.
Multidistrict Litigations (MDLs) are usually formed to litigate major nationwide product liability lawsuits for drugs or medical devices. Centralizing the litigation increases efficiency, reduces costs, conserves court resources, reduces the risk of duplicative discovery and conflicting rulings in lower courts.
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