There are many different types of civil litigation in Texas and across the United States. Some of them are class action and multidistrict litigation. While these two types of trials seem very similar, there are a few distinct differences.
What is multidistrict litigation?
Multidistrict litigation is used by the federal government to handle large and sometimes complicated cases. In this type of litigation, very similar lawsuits with similar complaints are combined. These can cover thousands of people in one lawsuit, making it easier to get through similar lawsuits in a shorter amount of time. As an example, if there are over a hundred complaints against Company A that their product was faulty, a federal court or the lawyers themselves can ask for these complaints to be filed as one multidistrict litigation.
How is it different from a class action lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is a single lawsuit filed by several people. For example, a hundred people might be involved in a lawsuit against Company A for their faulty product. Multidistrict litigation cases are multiple lawsuits from many different people.
Where all people are a part of a single class action lawsuit and share the ruling, individual lawsuits combined in a multidistrict litigation can stay on their own, protecting the rights of people who have filed.
In addition, if a multidistrict litigation suit is settled, plaintiffs can still pursue their own case separate from that. Class actions bind them to the settlement agreed to by the court.
What if I’m involved in a class action or multidistrict litigation case?
Occasionally, attorneys will reach out to you to become involved with a class action lawsuit or to include your case in a multidistrict litigation. Seek legal counsel before making any decisions.