One tactic big insurance companies or corporate defendants sometimes use in litigation is seeking to create an MDL – or Multidistrict Litigation. An MDL effectively consolidates a large number of cases for discovery and pretrial purposes. While an MDL can sometimes promote efficiency, it primarily benefits the insurance company. First, it prevents the individual plaintiff from having discovery and pretrial issues decided based on the facts of his case. Second, it allows the insurance company to avoid producing their representatives for deposition in individual plaintiffs’ cases.
Last year, Texas insurance giant Farmers asked the MDL Panel – a group of judges appointed by the Texas Supreme Court – to create an MDL for approximately 1,600 cases arising out of many different storms all over Texas. The Panel denied Farmers’ request for one MDL and instead created eight groups of cases and three MDL courts to handle them. The Panel was persuaded by Farmers’ argument that the cases are related because all the lawsuits made allegations that Farmers’ institutional “business practices” were unlawful.
Importantly, the Panel specifically excluded Daly & Black’s cases from the MDL. Daly & Black had pointed out to the Court in its response to Farmers’ petition for an MDL that the 25 Daly & Black lawsuits included in Farmers’ request do not make “business practices” allegations. This means that the 25 plaintiffs Daly & Black represents in these cases will be able to pursue their cases individually, in the courts where they are filed, and based on their specific facts. Only two other individual cases out of approximately 1,600 received this treatment.
Daly & Black pleads cases based on the facts available at the time. It is because Daly & Black does this that we were able to persuade the MDL Panel to exclude our 25 cases from the MDL to the benefit of our clients.
If an insurance company has delayed, denied, or underpaid your claim, contact us. Smart lawyers make a difference in every case.