Welcome to Zoloft Multi-District Litigation's website. This website has been appointed by U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe as the information center for the Zoloft Multi-District Litigation (MDL) 2342, In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation.
This website was developed in order to keep litigants, courts and the general public informed about the progress of the Zoloft litigation currently underway in Federal court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The content of this web site will be updated on a regular basis, so please visit periodically to stay current on the latest developments in this litigation.
On April 17, 2012, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation entered its Transfer Order consolidating all pending Zoloft lawsuits filed around the country in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Philadelphia. U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe is presiding over the consolidated Zoloft Products Liability Litigation. Judge Rufe has served on the Federal bench since 2002. Most recently, Judge Rufe was selected by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation to oversee the consolidated actions against the manufacturer of the drug Avandia.
Multi-District litigation is a procedure utilized in the Federal court system to transfer to one Federal judge all pending civil cases of a similar type filed throughout the United States. Such a consolidation avoids duplication of discovery, prevents inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserves the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.
Each case in a Multi-District Litigation retains its own identity. If the Multi-District Litigation process does not resolve the cases, they are transferred back to the court where they originated for trial.
On July 13, 2012, Judge Rufe issued Pretrial Order No. 6, appointing 16 attorneys to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC). Attorneys Mark Robinson and Diane Nast have been appointed as Co-Lead Counsel and serve on the PSC’s Executive Committee. Attorney Stephen Corr serves as Plaintiffs’ Liason Counsel and was also named an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. Attorney Bryan Aylstock was appointed as the Multi-District Coordinator and is also a PSC member.
The PSC will, among other things, conduct and coordinate the discovery stage of this litigation with the defendants' representatives or committee. The PSC will also act as a spokesperson for all plaintiffs at pretrial proceedings and in response to any inquiries by the Court.
In accordance with Pretrial Order No. 21, entered on February 25, 2013, Judge Rufe has directed Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Steering Committees to select a total of approximately twenty-five (25) to be included in the initial discovery group for expanded discovery by the parties and potential trial. By March 15, the PSC is required to select 12 cases to be included in the initial discovery group; the Defendants are given until April 22, 2013 to select 13 cases to be included in the initial discovery group. Judge Rufe plans to start trying bellwether cases by October 2014.Back to top