In In re Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Products Liability Litigation, ___ F.3d ___ (Aug. 29, 2006), the Ninth Circuit addressed multidistrict litigation ("MDL") proceedings under 28 U.S.C. section 1407. The decision provides useful insights into the MDL process, where many federal class actions end up. The following language is worthy of note:
(Slip op. at 10305.) "[W]e grant additional deference to a district court administering a MDL proceeding ...." (Id. at 10361.)
[M]ultidistrict litigation is different because of the large number of cases that must be coordinated, its greater complexity, and the court’s statutory charge to promote the just and efficient conduct of the actions. 28 U.S.C. § 1407. As a result, the considerations that inform the exercise of discretion in multidistrict litigation may be somewhat different, and may tip the balance somewhat differently, from ordinary litigation on an ordinary docket.