| | NFL Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation: Emerging Trends in Multidistrict Litigation By Melissa Hagstrum Bayne
In July 2011, seventy-five former NFL players and fifty-one spouses filed a lawsuit against the NFL, NFL Properties, and Riddell and Easton-Bell related companies that design, manufacture, distribute, and sell football equipment, including helmets. This first lawsuit was filed in California state court. Over the next ten months, eighty similar lawsuits were filed across the country by other former NFL players and their spouses. To date, the lawsuits involve more than 2,200 former NFL players and many of their spouses.
Product designers and manufacturers are watching the former NFL players’ concussion injury litigation closely for emerging trends in multidistrict litigation. Product liability litigation is one of the two most prevalent types of litigation where separate lawsuits pending in different federal district courts may be consolidated into a single federal district court for pretrial proceedings. Upon completion of pretrial proceedings, the cases are transferred back to the different federal district courts for trial. To read more, click here.
The Federal Circuit Directs the Eastern District of Texas to Reconsider Motions to Sever
By Glenna L Gilbert
On petition for a writ of mandamus, the Federal Circuit recently directed the Eastern District of Texas to reconsider motions to sever in light of the test for joinder set forth by the Federal Circuit in In re EMC Corp., Misc. No. 100 (Fed. Cir. May 4, 2012).
Petitioners in In re EMC Corp. were eight of eighteen companies named as defendants in a single complaint filed by Oasis Research LLC. Oasis asserted method claims from four patents, all of which dealt with off-site computer data storage. The defendants were all alleged to have offered services that provide online backup and storage for home or business computer users. Defendants moved to sever and transfer the claims against them, arguing that because there was no concert of action, the claims against them did not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence, as required by Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. To read more, click here.
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