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In re Diet Drugs Products Liability Litigation

282 F.3d 220 (2002)

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In re Diet Drugs Products Liability Litigation

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

282 F.3d 220 (2002)

Facts

Two diet drugs, Pondimin and Redux, were found to cause heart damage and were taken off the market. As a result, thousands of lawsuits were filed by the drugs’ users in both federal and state courts nationwide. The federal lawsuits were transferred to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and consolidated. Nearly two years after the cases were transferred, the parties reached a proposed global settlement to resolve the claims of a proposed nationwide class of plaintiffs (Brown class) (plaintiffs). The Brown class included all individuals in the United States who had taken either or both drugs, as well as those individuals’ representatives and dependents. The district court conditionally certified the Brown class, preliminarily approved the settlement, and established an opt-out period. Parallel to the federal class action was a Texas state-court class action. The Texas plaintiffs’ class (Gonzalez class), a subset of the Brown class, included all individuals who had bought the drugs in Texas. One week before the end of the federal opt-out period, the Texas court granted a motion opting out all members of the Gonzalez class from the Brown settlement. The federal court entered an injunction prohibiting the Gonzalez opt-out. The Gonzalez plaintiffs appealed the injunction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Scirica, J.)

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