United States District Court for the Northern District of California
April 14, 2010
IN RE: AIR CRASH OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC ON JUNE 1, 2009
UNITED STATES JUDICIAL PANEL on MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION
MDL No. 2144
Before the entire Panel*fn1
Certain defendants*fn2 have moved, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings of this litigation in the Southern District of Texas. Plaintiffs in the Southern District of Texas action, plaintiff in a potentially-related action pending in the Northern District of California, and defendant Société Air France (Air France) support centralization in the Southern District of Texas.*fn3 Plaintiffs in the Northern District of California and Northern District of Illinois actions suggest centralization in the Northern District of California.
This litigation currently consists of three actions listed on Schedule A and pending in three districts, one action each in the Northern District of California, the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Texas.*fn4
On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, we find that all actions before the Panel involve common questions of fact and that centralization under Section 1407 in the Northern District of California will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. All actions concern the cause or causes of the crash of Air France Flight 447 off the coast of Brazil on June 1, 2009. Centralization under Section 1407 will eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.
We are persuaded that the Northern District of California is an appropriate transferee district. Three actions are now pending in that district, and two defendants maintain their principal places of business within that district.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, the actions listed on Schedule A and pending outside the Northern District of California are transferred to the Northern District of California and, with the consent of that court, assigned to the Honorable Charles R. Breyer for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings with the action pending there and listed on Schedule A.
PANEL ON MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION
Acting Chairman Kathryn H. Vratil
John G. Heyburn II, Chairman
Robert L. Miller, Jr.
David R. Hansen W. Royal Furgeson, Jr.
Frank C. Damrell, Jr. David G. Trager
Northern District of California Margita Gergelova, et al. v. Airbus S.A.S., et al., C.A. No. 3:09-5020
Northern District of Illinois Rosilene Hemme, et al. v. Airbus S.A.S, et al., C.A. No. 1:09-7239
Southern District of Texas Hampton Harris, et al. v. Societe Air France, et al., C.A. No. 4:09-3155