PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - An order coming from the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation bars all future "tag-along" transfers for plaintiffs represented by the Cascino Vaughan Law Offices in Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, specifically in the MDL No. 875 docket.
Judge Eduardo C. Robreno, the judge overseeing the docket, filed a suggestion to the panel on Jan. 28 to cease the transfers of "tag-along" actions commenced by the firm in districts in the Seventh Circuit, located in Chicago.
Cascino Vaughan provides asbestos representation for plaintiffs in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Robreno wrote that the termination is warranted because fewer than 150 cases arising out of Cascino Vaughan remain pending in the MDL, which are all "scheduling orders and will be ripe for adjudication or remand within the next year. The MDL Court will continue to adjudicate pending cases in the 'pipeline,' all of which are not subject to scheduling orders."
The panel adopted and endorsed the suggestion, filing its approval on Feb. 18, signed by Chairman John G. Heyburn II.
It concluded that the continued transfer of new asbestos-related actions from most federal jurisdictions would no longer promote the purposes of Rule 28 U.S.C. 1407(a).
"When civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts, such actions may be transferred to any district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings," the rule states.
The panel agreed to immediately cease the transfers for all such actions including any of those of which the panel was notified between Jan. 28 and Feb. 18.
The panel also noted that it would suspend Panel Rule 7.1(a) in docket No. 875 with respect to any newly-filed actions.
"Rule 7.1(a) requires any party or counsel in previously transferred actions to promptly notify the Clerk of the Panel of any potential tag-along actions in which that party is also named or in which that counsel appears," the order stated.
However, the order does not forbid a party in a new Cascino Vaughan asbestos case commenced in the Seventh Circuit from seeking its transfer to MDL No. 875, only tag-along cases are barred.
Robreno further suggested that the Northern District of Ohio be the only jurisdiction from which the Panel should continue transferring "tag-along" actions, including maritime docket cases.
He also verified that the MDL court will continue to hear asbestos cases arising out of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
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