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U.S.Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit.: First-Filed Venue Best Venue For FLSA MDL, Since Discovery Is Well Underway
In re Sepracor Inc. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Litigation
Defendant Sepracor Inc. (Sepracor) moved, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings of this litigation in the Middle District of Florida or, alternatively, the District of Massachusetts. Plaintiffs in an action pending in the District of Arizona action opposed the motion or, alternatively, suggested centralization in the District of Arizona. The Court was persuaded by the Plaintiffs in the Arizona action and transferred the MDL to that District stating:
“This litigation currently consists of two actions pending in two districts, one action each in the District of Arizona and the Middle District of Florida.
On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, we find that these actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization under Section 1407 in the District of Arizona will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. Each action brings claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and each alleges that defendants avoided paying overtime to employees classified as “pharmaceutical sales representatives.” 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 District of Arizona is an appropriate transferee forum for this litigation, because the first-filed action is pending there and discovery is well underway in that action.”