Judicial Panel Grants Defense Request, Ultimately Joined by Plaintiffs, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 and Transfers Class Actions to Western District of Washington
Three products liability class action lawsuits were filed in California, Oregon and Washington against various defendants, including General Motors Corp., arising out of the allegation that the speedometers in certain GM pick-ups and sport utility vehicles registered inaccurately and that GM “failed to disclose and/or fraudulently concealed this alleged defect.” In re General Motors Corp. Speedometer Prods. Liab. Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. January 8, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1]. Defense attorneys for common defendant General Motors 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 Western District of Washington; responding plaintiffs initially supported pretrial coordination provided the Panel select the Northern District of California as the appropriate transferee court, but at the hearing on the motion they consented to transfer to the Western District of Washington. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits and agreed with the defense, and plaintiffs, that the Western District of Washington was the appropriate transferee court. Id. Accordingly, the Panel granted the defense motion, id., at 2.