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In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 2, 2019

IN RE ROUNDUP PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION This document relates to: ALL ACTIONS

          PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 154: PROPOSED SEVERANCE ORDER FOR MULTI-PLAINTIFF COMPLAINTS

          VINCE CHHABRIA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         At the July 2, 2019, hearing, the parties should be prepared to raise any objections they have to the following proposed severance order:

         Currently within this MDL, there are complaints in which multiple plaintiffs allege that they developed cancer after exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides (“GBHs”) manufactured by Monsanto. This Court has ordered that such cases be severed into individual complaints for pre-trial case work-up purposes.[1] See Pretrial Order No. 149, Dkt. No. 4009 (June 3, 2019); Fed.R.Civ.P. 21. The procedures governing this process are as follows:

         1. Any individual complaint (“Short Form Complaint”) filed as a result of this Order shall identify: (i) the residence of the plaintiff (city and state) at the time of filing; (ii) the residence of the plaintiff (city and state), or of the product user if the plaintiff is acting in a representative capacity, at the time of the diagnosis of the alleged injury; (iii) the place(s) of the plaintiff's exposure to GBHs, or, if the plaintiff is acting in a representative capacity, the place(s) of the product user's exposure to GBHs; (iv) the dates of the plaintiff's exposure to GBHs, or, if the plaintiff is acting in a representative capacity, the product user's dates of exposure to GBHs; (v) the states in which the plaintiff, or product user if the plaintiff is acting in a representative capacity, received medical treatment related to his/her cancer; (vi) if the case was first filed in federal court, the federal district court in which the action was originally filed; and (vii) if the case was first filed in state court, the state court in which the action was originally filed and the federal district court to which the case was removed prior to being transferred to the MDL. The Short Form Complaint may not add additional parties or claims beyond those identified in the original complaint.

         2. The parties submit to this Court's personal jurisdiction and venue in the Northern District of California for pretrial purposes only. Upon completion of all pretrial proceedings, the defendants do not intend to waive, and by agreement to this severance procedure are not waiving, their rights under 28 U.S.C. § 1406, 28 U.S.C. § 1407, Lexecon Inc. v. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, 523 U.S. 26 (1998), or other applicable law.

         3. The inclusion of any action in MDL No. 2741, whether such action was or will be filed in or removed to the Northern District of California, or transferred to the Northern District of California under 28 U.S.C. § 1407 and then severed, shall not, standing alone, constitute a determination by this Court that jurisdiction or venue is proper in a particular district.

         4. The fact that a case was severed pursuant to this Order will have no impact on choice of law, including the statute of limitations, that would otherwise apply to an individual case.

         5. Unless resolved during the course of pretrial proceedings, each case severed pursuant to this Order will be subject to remand under § 1407(a) and the rules of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

         6. For each of the cases listed on Dkt. No. 4387, all of the plaintiffs other than the lead plaintiff will e-file a new individual case with a Short Form Complaint with this Order attached. The plaintiffs will also file their Short Form Complaint on the main docket for MDL No. 3:16-md-02741. The plaintiffs will list Judge Chhabria and docket number 3:16-md-02741 in section VIII of the civil cover sheet. When the plaintiffs file their Short Form Complaint, the parties will file a joint stipulation voluntarily dismissing those plaintiffs from the original case.

         See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(ii). The parties may include multiple plaintiffs on the notice of dismissal.

         7. Other than the wave 1 plaintiffs discussed below, all plaintiffs in the MDL as of the date of this Order will have 45 days to follow the procedure outlined in #6.[2]

         8. The multi-plaintiff Nebraska and California cases listed below are part of the first remand wave, see Pretrial Order No. 150. Each plaintiff in these cases will have 14 days from the date of this Order to follow the procedure outlined in #6.

Plaintiff Name

Member Case Name

Member Case Number

Transferor Court

Sanders, John D.

Sanders

3:16-cv-05752

CA Central District

Tanner, Frank

Sanders

3:16-cv-05752

CA Central District

Dickey, Robert L.

Domina

3:16-cv-05887

District of Nebraska

Domina, Larry E.

Domina

3:16-cv-05887

District of Nebraska

Janzen, Royce D.

Domina

3:16-cv-05887

District of Nebraska

Pollard, Frank

Domina

3:16-cv-05887

District of Nebraska

         9. Starting in August 2019, on the first Friday of each month the parties must file a joint letter that identifies (a) all multi-plaintiff cases that were transferred into the MDL in the preceding month, (b) any cases on that list that the parties agree should not be severed, and (c) any cases on that list for which the parties dispute whether severance is appropriate, along with a brief accompanying explanation. The Court will then issue a ruling listing all of the cases transferred in the preceding ...


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