On January 24, 2002, the New York state courts adopted a rule that provides a procedure for the statewide coordination of mass tort cases that is similar to the Multidistrict Litigation System (MDL) in the federal courts. Uniform Rules for the New York State Trial Courts � 202.69. With the implementation of Rule 202.69, New York is the third state, following California and Pennsylvania, to institute formal statewide coordination of mass tort cases that share common questions of law or fact (New York had previously followed an ad hoc coordination system). See Daniel Wise, “New York Courts Adopt Federal Mass Torts Plan,” 2/22/2002 NYLJ 1 (col.5); Ca. Civ. Proc. � � 404.1, et seq.; Ca. St. Trial Ct. Rules 1501, et seq.; Pa. R. Civ. P. � � 213.1, 1041.1, 1041.2.

During the last few years, statewide coordination has been used increasingly to handle related cases more efficiently at the pretrial stage, such as by the use of master pleadings and master discovery demands and responses. In addition to the formal procedures of New York, California and Pennsylvania, other states such as New Jersey, Texas, Mississippi and Oregon are employing informal procedures. See Wise, supra.