Judicial Panel Grants Plaintiffs Request for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, Unopposed by Class Action Defendants, and Transfers Class Actions to Northern District of Illinois
Nine class actions – two each in the Central and Northern Districts of California, and one each in the Eastern and Southern Districts of California, the Northern District of Illinois, the District of Minnesota, and the Northern District of Texas – were filed against various Chase defendants arising out of home equity lines of credit. In re JP Morgan Chase Bank Home Equity Line of Credit Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. June 7, 2010) [Slip Opn., at 1]. According to the allegations under the class actions, “Chase improperly suspended or reduced plaintiffs’ respective home equity line of credit accounts and, relatedly, used inappropriate automated valuation models in assessing the value of the underlying properties.” Id. Attorneys for plaintiffs in seven of the class actions 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 Northern District of Illinois or, alternatively, in the Northern District of California. Id. Plaintiff and defendants in the Minnesota class action supported the motion; plaintiff in the Northern District of California class action supported centralization in that district instead of Illinois. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits, finding that it “will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.” Id. The Judicial Panel also agreed that the Northern District of Illinois was the appropriate transferee court because “Defendants and almost all plaintiffs support centralization in this district” and because it “provides a convenient forum.” Id., at 2. Accordingly, the Panel transferred all class actions pending outside of Illinois to that district. Id.