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  • Writer's pictureGregory Sandler


At one time or another, most of us have heard about “class actions”, where groups of people claim to have all suffered a personal injury caused by a particular company or a particular drug. Some of you may have taken Fen-Phen years ago as a diet drug, or Xarelto, or have received a hip implant from a company called DePuy Orthopedics. Everyone knows about the Gulf Oil spill harm arising from the Deep Water Horizon failure. How about Chinese Dry Wall?

When you see ads on television late at night by attorneys suggesting that you “Might Be Entitled to Substantial Compensation If You Have Taken This Medication”, have you ever wondered really what happens to those cases? What happens to those people who might have been seriously harmed by those products? What should you do if it is you they are talking about?

Welcome to the world of Federal Multi-District Litigation, or MDL. MDLs are a unique creature of Federal Law and Judicial Administration, designed to give wide access to the courts for many, many individual “Davids” who could not successfully bring a case for their harm individually because of the expense and complexity of the fight against “Goliath“. They are NOT class action suits, which are the subject of a different set of laws and rules, but they do, provide for “group” administration of lawsuits, and they often facilitate group resolution of claims in an efficient manner.

Lipitor, Xarelto, Takata Air Bags, Chinese Dry Wall, Vioxx, Actos, Nexium, Dupont, Citigroup, GM, NFL Concussions, Enron, Lumber Liquidators, and many, many other products and companies have been the subject of MDLs. The process allows people who have been harmed all over the country to have their cases consolidated for efficient collection of information, under the control of one federal judge, perhaps in Virginia, or one of the other judicial districts. A select panel of lawyers for the group of injured people acts for everyone, trying to get evidence and the truth about whether there is legal responsibility for harm, who has suffered that harm, and what fair compensation would be.

MDLs were created by an Act of Congress back in 1968, forming the United States Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. It’s intention is to determine whether cases brought all over the country contain a common question of fact and law, so that they can be transferred to one district with one judge. That promotes centralized collection of information under one set of rules, and avoids multiple courts in multiple states reaching different conclusions and results, regardless whether the injured people are from Virginia Beach, Norfolk or somewhere in Texas. Topics of MDLs can include multiple victims of a single train or airplane crash, people who took a particular drug or had injury from a medical device, victims of a wide financial fraud, improper employment practices or other cases where a large number of people in different areas have suffered harm from the same conduct or company.

As of March 15, 2016, there were 261 different pending MDLs involving over 138,000 individual cases. Since the beginning of the use of MDLs, there have been over 2,700 matters, involving over 550,000 cases. Considering the monumental task and extraordinary expense that a single person, hurt by a single drug, would have trying to succeed against one of these giant corporations, I would argue that MDLs provide the ONLY reasonable means for David to fight Goliath in our judicial system.

If you are concerned that you might have suffered an injury along with many others in the country, and want to know whether there is an MDL out there to help you, visit Pending MDLs where you will find a complete listing of every MDL ongoing in the country. If you need information about what to do if you do believe that you should be part of MDL litigation, Call Greg Sandler at the Sandler Law Group.

At the Sandler Law Group, we are skilled in presenting cases against individuals and corporations, and we are part of a national network of attorneys who specialize in MDL litigation.� We know how to help prove your case and get you the recovery you deserve. Not sure where to turn next? Call us toll free at 800-9-THE-LAW or (757) 627-8900 to schedule an initial� FREE consultation. You may also contact us online at� or email us at�

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