‘If a Lone Pine Falls in the Sixth Circuit And No One Hears it, Does it Make a Sound?’

“Multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been described both as a ‘just and efficient’ method of consolidating lawsuits and a judicial hell-hole akin to ‘the third level of Dante’s inferno’. While its normative value likely falls somewhere in the middle, it is no secret that multidistrict litigation involves ‘unorthodox’ civil procedure. Judges attempting to wrangle the ‘Wild West’ of multidistrict litigation may employ a wide variety of procedural weapons to tackle complex litigation. Lone Pine orders, which require plaintiffs in mass-tort litigation to ‘supply prima facie evidence of injury, exposure, and causation’ provide an example of this kind of creative judicial procedure. These orders supposedly expedite and narrow complex litigation by filtering out unmeritorious claims that cannot meet this preliminary evidentiary requirement …” (more)

[Andrew Barron, California Law Review Blog, February 2021]

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