Judicial Panel Grants Unopposed Request for Pretrial Coordination Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 and Agrees with Defense that Eastern District of Missouri is Appropriate Transferee Court
Several class actions were filed against Bayer CropScience and others on behalf of rice farmers asserting various causes or action arising out of “the contamination of commercial rice stocks with LLRice 601, a variety of genetically modified rice.” In re LLRice 601Contamination Litig., 466 F.Supp.2d 1351, 1351-52 (Jud. Pan.Mult.Lit. December 19, 2006). The class action complaints were “brought on behalf of nationwide, multistate [and] statewide classes of rice farmers.” Id. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, the plaintiffs in one of the class actions moved the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to centralize the lawsuits for pretrial purposes in the Eastern District of Arkansas; while no one objected to centralization, the parties could not agree on the appropriate transferee court and defense attorneys for “the common defendant” supported transfer to the Eastern District of Missouri. Id. The Judicial Panel agreed with that centralization was warranted and concurred with the defense recommendation that the actions be transferred to the Eastern District of Missouri. Id., at 1352. The Panel explained that the Eastern District of Missouri “enjoys the support of the common defendant and several plaintiffs.” Id.