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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