Why Bellwethers Matter In The Opioid MDL

Law360 (June 10, 2019, 1:53 PM EDT) -- Parties engaged in multidistrict litigation face a crucial decision: Which case or cases should be tried first? For both plaintiffs and defendants, bellwethers — the first trial or trials from the similar cases making up the MDL— can determine how the rest of the cases proceed.

One current headlining case — the prescription opioid MDL pending before Judge Dan Polster in federal district court in Ohio — shows both how hard it is to select bellwethers and why bellwethers matter.

Plaintiffs and defendants have long debated about bellwether trial selection, with each side vying to select the case or cases that...

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