The University of Kansas Law Review
Christopher B. Mueller, Taking a Second Look at MDL Product Liability Settlements: Somebody Needs to Do It, 65 U. Kan. L. Rev. 531 (2017), available at https://scholar.law.colorado.edu/articles/700.
This Article examines the forces that lead to the settlement of product liability cases gathered under the MDL statute for pretrial. The MDL procedure is ill-suited to this use, and does not envision the gathering of the underlying cases as a means of finally resolving them. Motivational factors affecting judges and lawyers have produced these settlements, and the conditions out of which they arise do not give confidence that they are fair or adequate. This Article concedes that MDL settlements are likely here to stay, and argues that we need a mechanism to check such settlements for fairness and adequacy. The best way to do so is to allow collateral review of such settlements in suits brought by dissatisfied claimants.
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