Judicial Panel Grants Defense Request, Opposed by Plaintiffs, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 and Agrees to Transfer Class Actions to Central District of California as Requested by Defense
Two class action lawsuits were filed against Charlotte Russe alleging violations of the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) by failing to block certain credit and debit card information from customer receipts. In re Charlotte Russe, Inc., Fair & Accurate Credit Trans. Act (FACTA) Litig., 505 F.Supp.2d 1377, 1378 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. 2007). Defense attorneys filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the Central District of California, id., at 1377.. Plaintiffs’ lawyers in both the California and the Pennsylvania class actions opposed centralization, particularly because the Central District of California had refused to certify FACTA class actions in several cases including in the California plaintiffs’ action. Id., at 1378. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class actions (recognizing that technically only one of them remained a class action) because the statutory requirements have been met: “Each action involves allegations that Charlotte Russe’s printing of certain credit and debit card information on customer receipts violated [FACTA]. Centralization…will eliminate duplicate discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, especially with respect to class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.” Id. The Panel also agreed that the Central District of California is the appropriate transferee court because the first class action was filed there and because defendant’s headquarters are in California. Id., at *2.