Thousands of plaintiffs who opted out of the settlement in the massive fen-phen diet drug litigation lost a pair of significant appeals Monday that demanded their cases be sent back to courts in their home states for possible trial.

But the decisions handed down Monday by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may prove to be moot, as court records show that several groups of plaintiffs lawyers are in the final stages of negotiating a settlement of nearly all the remaining cases.