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What Is the Difference Between Class Action Lawsuits and Multidistrict Litigation?

Jed Dietrich, Esq., Renowned as an American Institute of Trial Lawyers Litigator of the Year and New York Super Lawyer, and His Team of Top Rated Attorneys at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. Fight to Obtain the Best Result for Victims Who Have Suffered Injury Caused by Negligent and Irresponsible Companies in Buffalo, New York.


Man standing between two arrowsAlthough most people have heard about class action lawsuits, not many are familiar with multidistrict litigation (MDL). Nevertheless, in recent years, multidistrict litigation has played an increasingly significant role in the legal landscape. Both class actions and multidistrict litigation are important litigation tools that court systems use to manage large numbers of victims who suffered similar injuries or have been injured in the same manner. The two legal actions are similar in several ways yet extremely different in others. By grouping cases together into class actions and multidistrict litigations, courts can streamline cases faster and more efficiently, sorting through large backlogs and obtaining settlements or verdicts for victims quicker.

It is common to use these two types of litigation in cases involving employment law, product liability, or dangerous drugs. Since it can be more burdensome for individual plaintiffs to take on large corporations, class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigations allow the plaintiffs and their attorneys to pool resources together. Some of these cases are based on only a handful of claims, while others may include hundreds, if not thousands, of plaintiffs. Without these valuable legal actions, it may take a lifetime for the courts to hear every individual case. At the Dietrich Law Firm P.C., our battle-tested attorneys handle both class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigations. We understand exactly how to successfully navigate through these intricate legal processes.

Our compassionate team recognizes how incredibly difficult of a time this may be for you and your family. Acclaimed as a Best Law Firm of America, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. does everything possible to provide the highest level of personal injury service to every client. For more than 20 years, Jed Dietrich, Esq., an honored member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, has exclusively litigated serious personal injury and product liability claims. Our admirable devotion to zealously fighting to obtain adequate compensation and delivering an extraordinary outcome is what sets us apart from other law firms. Jed Dietrich, Esq. has battled to get over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for victims who were injured in Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; Niagara Falls, New York; throughout New York State and beyond. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. offers free case evaluations and consultations. Our seasoned team would be honored to discuss your claim with you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 716-839-3939 or by completing the online consultation form.

What Are Class Action Lawsuits?

Class Action bookA class action lawsuit consists of a single lawsuit filed by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of the group of victims who have suffered similar harms caused by the same defendant or defendants. All of the victims are grouped into what is known as the “class.” By consolidating everyone’s claims, the court treats the class as a single plaintiff, and the class representatives stand for the entire group. Class actions are intended to compensate a substantial number of victims; as such, the damages awarded are distributed to the entire class. This type of lawsuit is extremely useful for consumer claims where the injuries to each of the victims may otherwise be considered too small to justify pursuing legal action.

Class actions help prevent potentially thousands of individual lawsuits concerning similar causes, circumstances, and incidents from all being litigated separately. If every victim had to pursue an isolated claim, the cost of litigation could potentially be far greater than the award. For a valid class action to be formed, the lawsuit must first undergo a procedure known as “class certification.” During a class certification, the court decides whether or not the case can proceed as a class action. One of the main disadvantages of class action lawsuits is that all class members are bound to the sole outcome of the court. If the class representatives win, the class members are no longer allowed to file claims over the same legal issue. On the flip side, when a class action is won, all of the members receive a portion of the award.

WERE YOU, OR A FAMILY MEMBER, SEVERELY INJURED BECAUSE OF A COMPANY’S NEGLIGENCE OR RECKLESSNESS IN BUFFALO, NIAGARA FALLS, ROCHESTER, OR OTHER PARTS OF NEW YORK STATE?

CALL JED DIETRICH, ESQ. AND HIS ELITE AND SEASONED TEAM OF BUFFALO, NEW YORK CLASS ACTION AND MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION LAWYERS AT 716-839-3939 NOW TO OBTAIN THE HELP THAT YOU DESERVE!

What Is Multidistrict Litigation?

People frequently confuse class action lawsuits with multidistrict litigation. Unlike class action lawsuits, the decision to form multidistrict litigation is not made by the plaintiffs. A panel of federal district court judges must create multidistrict litigation. In recent years, an increasing number of pharmaceutical and medical injury claims have become multidistrict litigation cases. Although the questions around the cause of injuries are similar, the victim’s injuries are usually too different to be considered for a class action. Typically, multidistrict litigation consists of multiple cases filed by various parties. These cases can encompass thousands of individual lawsuits and hundreds of personal injury lawyers all working together.

The multidistrict litigation statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1407, allows the interim transfer of cases to district courts for pretrial consolidation and coordination. By eliminating duplicate demands of discovery, witness depositions, and other pretrial proceedings, all of the cases are streamlined. Unlike class action lawsuits, multidistrict litigation does not contain classes. After pretrial proceedings, several cases may be selected to act as bellwether trials. The verdicts of the bellwether trials can then be used as a basis for potential settlement amounts in the remaining lawsuits. Each of the unsettled individual cases is then sent back to the originating court for trial. Distinct from class action lawsuits, multidistrict litigations provide for each victim’s distinct needs to be addressed separately based on the nature of his or her actual damages.

Jed Dietrich, Esq., recognized as an American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys, and his elite attorneys have significant experience in handling class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigations. The seasoned lawyers at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. take great pride in helping victims, and their families obtain the best possible results. Over and over again, past clients of the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. have said that Jed Dietrich, Esq. is the best personal injury lawyer in Western New York. Kindly see our Google 5 Star rating and clients’ testimonials by clicking here. Call our best of the best team today at 716-839-3939.


Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 716-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I am a medical doctor and have worked with many of the best lawyers in Buffalo and I can say without question that Jed Dietrich is the only lawyer I would trust with my injury case in Buffalo New York. B.O.
★★★★★
Dogged, Determined, and Dead-set on getting you the Maximum settlement for your injuries! T.F.
★★★★★
No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
★★★★★
The definition of an "A" type personality-exactly who I would want to represent me in a serious personal injury case. E.S.
★★★★★
Jed is a Master in the courtroom without an equal. S.C.
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