In October of 2012, a federal judicial panel consolidated lawsuits across the United States involving the Biomet M2a Magnum hip replacements into one federal court. This move created Multi-District Litigation (MDL) No. 2391.
What is an MDL?
The point of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) is to help a lot of similar cases efficiently handle pre-trial issues (such as evidence-gathering) that may be shared between the cases. While they may seem alike at first glance, an MDL is NOT a class action lawsuit. In a class action lawsuit, many cases are thrown together into one lawsuit and there is 1 single trial for EVERYONE involved in the litigation. In an MDL, once the pre-trial issues are taken care of, collectively, each person still has the ability to have their own, individual trial. MDLs only exist in federal court (as opposed to state courts) and the particular MDL handling Biomet metal on metal hip replacement claims is located in the Northern District of Indiana (South Bend).