Judicial Panel Grants Plaintiff’s Unopposed Request for Pretrial Coordination of 3 Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 and Transfers Class Actions to the District of Nebraska
Three class action lawsuits (2 in Illinois and 1 in Nebraska) were filed against General Motors and Saturn Corp. asserting products liability claims based on “allegations that certain Saturn vehicles have defective metal timing chains and oiler nozzles.” In re Saturn L-Series Timing Chain Products Liab. Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. February 19, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1]. (For the convenience of the reader, a copy of the one of the class action complaints may be found here.) Plaintiff’s lawyer in one of the class actions filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the litigation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the District of Nebraska; no party responded to the motion. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits and agreed with the moving plaintiff defense that the District of Nebraska was an appropriate transferee forum “because the first-filed action was brought there and it is movant’s unopposed choice.” Id. Accordingly, the Panel ordered the Illinois class actions to be transferred to Nebraska, id.