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Class Action Defense Cases-Insurance Industry Discriminatory Sales Practices: Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Agrees With Defense And Denies Request To Centralize Actions

Plaintiffs Fail to Establish Grounds for Centralization of Lawsuits Under 28 U.S.C. § 1407

In conjunction with two class action lawsuits – one pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana and the other pending in the Western District of Texas – plaintiffs filed a motion with Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 seeking centralization of the actions for pretrial purposes, and defense attorneys opposed the request. In re Insurance Industry Discriminatory Sales Practices Litig., 460 F.Supp.2d 1376, 1377 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Dist.Lit. 2006). The Judicial Panel denied the request because plaintiffs failed to demonstrate “that any common questions of fact and law are sufficiently complex, unresolved and/or numerous to justify Section 1407 transfer in this docket in which the Texas action has been pending for almost five years and is the subject of a pending class action settlement.” Id. The Panel explained that other alternatives exist to minimize the risk of duplicate discovery or inconsistent pretrial rulings. Id.