Judicial Panel Grants Plaintiff Request for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 over Defense Objection
Two class action lawsuits – one in Illinois and one in Pennsylvania – were filed in against defendants Texas Roadhouse Holdings LLC and Texas Roadhouse, Inc., for violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), alleging that defendants printed information on credit card and debit card customer receipts that FACTA required be excluded therefrom. In re Texas Roadhouse Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. April 7, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1]. Plaintiff’s lawyer in the Pennsylvania class action 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 Northern District of Illinois; plaintiff in the Illinois class action supported the motion. Id. Defense attorneys opposed pretrial coordination, and alternatively filed motions under 28 U.S.C. § 1404 to transfer the class actions to Kentucky, id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits, explaining at page 1: “Common discovery is likely, as defendants have suggested that discovery related to their credit and debit card receipt policies will be company-wide. Centralization under Section 1407 will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, especially with respect to class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.” The Judicial Panel also agreed that the Northern District of Illinois was the appropriate transferee court. Id., at 1-2.