Judicial Panel Grants Defense Request, Supported by Plaintiffs, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 and Agrees with Defense Attorneys that District of New Jersey is Appropriate Transferee Court
Three class action lawsuits (and subsequent tag-along lawsuits) were filed against Mercedes-Benz “relating to (1) the impact of the conversion of the cellular network from an analog/digital network to a digital-only network in early 2008, and (2) the availability of Tele Aid service in certain Mercedes vehicles thereafter.” In re Mercedes-Benz Tele Aid Contract Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. February 26, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1]. Defense attorneys filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class action litigation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the District of New Jersey; plaintiffs’ lawyers in the various class actions and in the tag-along lawsuits supported the motion, though they suggested alternate districts as the appropriate transferee court. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits and agreed with the defense that the District of New Jersey was the proper forum because that class action is the most advanced and because Mercedes is headquartered in New Jersey. Id. Accordingly, the Panel ordered the class actions transferred to the District of New Jersey, id., at 2.