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John L.A. Lyddane John L.A. Lyddane

CPLR §§602 and 603 provide very general guidance as to the consolidation and severance of medical malpractice claims for trial. The matter is largely discretionary with the trial court, but that discretion is reviewable and consolidation of cases with common questions of law or fact is favored. Consistency of the outcome of related claims is a stated goal, as is judicial economy. It is only where the proponent of separate trials has established that a substantial right of a party is prejudiced by a consolidated trial that separate trials are obtainable. To help assess the manner in which the trial court is likely to respond to a motion for either severance or consolidation, we can examine several themes in the decisions.

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