MDL Panel Consolidates TCPA Claims In Northern District of Illinois

In re Capital One Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litigation, No. MDL 2416 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 10, 2012) Over opposition from all responding Plaintiffs, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered centralization in the Northern District of Illinois of more than 30 actions asserting TCPA claims against Defendant, including adversary proceedings. The JPML's conclusion was based on the fact that the subject actions shared factual issues regarding Defendant's policies and procedures for calling, or directing its agents to call, consumers, as well as Defendant's policies and procedures for obtaining and recording a consumer's consent to receive collection calls on his or her cell phone. The JPML rejected argument against centralization contending that the action involved primarily case-specific issues involving different frequencies of collection calls, different statements made during collection calls and other different circumstances surrounding the calls. Specifically, while the Panel agreed that individualized factual issues were present, the existence of such issues did not negate common ones. The Panel added that once discovery and other pretrial proceedings related to common issues are completed, the transferee judge may conclude that issues unique to one or more of the centralized cases counsel in favor of returning those cases to their transferor courts. For the time being, however, the Northern District of Illinois was an appropriate transferee district for pretrial proceedings, offering a relatively central and convenient forum for the involved parties and counsel. 

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