Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Grants Motion To Centralize Litigation for Pretrial Purposes and Selects District Where Manufacturing Facility is Located as Transferee Court
A multitude of lawsuits, including several putative nationwide class action lawsuits, were filed against Bausch & Lomb arising out of its ReNu contact lens solution, which Bausch & Lomb (“B & L”) withdrew from the market after it was associated fungal keratitis (a type of eye infection). Several parties requested that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) centralize the litigation for pretrial purposes under 28 U.S.C. § 1407. The Panel agreed that such centralization would “serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation” because the action shared factual allegations concerning “i) the development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of Renu with MoistureLoc; and ii) B & L’s knowledge concerning Renu with MoistureLoc’s alleged adverse effects, in particular, the potential for this product to cause fungal keratitis.” In re Bausch & Lomb Inc. Contact Lens Solution Prods. Liab. Litig., 444 F.Supp.2d 1336, 1338 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. 2006).
In selecting the District of South Carolina as the appropriate transferee court, the Panel noted, “Relevant discovery may be found in this district, inasmuch as B & L has a manufacturing facility located there.” In re Bausch & Lomb, at 1338.