Reglan Lawsuits Centralized, But No MDL
In June 2009, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) denied a request by Reglan lawyers to consolidate widespread lawsuits into multidistrict litigation (MDL), a legal process similar to class action.
The panel, made up of seven high-ranking federal judges, ruled that MDL was an inappropriate pathway of litigation for various reasons.
JPML explains Reglan MDL denial
For one, much of the Reglan litigation up for consolidation was “substantially advanced” – five of eleven Reglan lawsuits had commenced several years prior to the JPML decision.
Secondly, there was and is no single defendant in Reglan litigation. Although Schwarz Pharma currently owns the patent on brand-name Reglan, many companies are involved in the manufacture and distribution of generic Reglan, which is sold as Metoclopramide.
Thirdly, the JPML ruled that much of the pretrial workup that typically occurs during MDL had already occurred in the case of Reglan litigation. “Metoclopramide litigation has a lengthy history,” wrote Judge J. Frederick Motz, Acting Chairman of the JPML, in an order denying transfer. “The record indicates that a significant amount of the common discovery has already taken place.”
Thus it was determined that Reglan litigation would not move forward in MDL, a legal process that funnels far-flung lawsuits into a single federal court.
Reglan lawsuits centralized in New Jersey
Instead, the litigation has proceeded in disparate federal courts and a single state court in New Jersey, where Reglan litigation is consolidated for efficiency in “Centralized Management.”
Currently, more than 950 Reglan lawsuits are consolidated in New Jersey Centralized Management. All participating plaintiffs have vacated their requests for pleading or discovery in order to avoid redundancies and prevent contradictory testimony or rulings. Each participating lawsuit maintains its own docket number.
Reglan Centralized Management is being overseen by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higbee.
People who have been affected by Reglan side effects such as tardive dyskinesia or blepharospasm may still join the Reglan Centralized Management, which has not yet entered the trial stage.