The Common Issue In Mass Tort Consolidation

Law360, New York (September 22, 2009, 1:37 PM EDT) -- Proposals for using procedural shortcuts to resolve so-called “common” issues in mass torts and other aggregated litigation are hardly new.

But as courts have generally tightened the requirements of the class action device in mass tort litigation, plaintiffs have placed increasing reliance on other proposals that seek to create the same hydraulic pressure for settlement as a class certification decision.

These proposals include mass joinders and consolidations, trials bifurcated between “generic” and “specific” phases, and nonmutual offensive collateral estoppel following a prior verdict for a plaintiff....
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