With more than 300 consumer lawsuits filed against Volkswagen A.G. over its emissions scandal, one prominent class action critic has elbowed into the litigation to voice an emerging concern: that settlements in mass tort multidistrict litigation need more judicial review.
Amicus briefs are very rare in proceedings before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), which is set to hear arguments about consolidating the Volkswagen litigation on Dec. 3 in New Orleans. But on Oct. 20, Ted Frank, founder of the Center for Class Action Fairness, made such a filing. In it, Frank argues that the Volkswagen cases — all consumer class actions — should be coordinated before a single judge who could ensure fairness to all class members when evaluating what is likely to be a substantial settlement down the line.
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