Multi-County Litigation (MCL): When multiple similar product liability claims are filed in various counties in the state court system, a court may group them together into an MCL to help move things along more quickly.
Multi-District Litigation (MDL): Like an MCL, when similar product liability claims are filed in federal courts in various states, a judicial panel may decide to group them into an MDL.
Bellwether trial: As part of the MDL process, one or a few claims are chosen as test cases to go to trial first. The outcomes of these cases will influence how others who have similar cases should proceed.
Global settlement: If the victims (or plaintiffs) win in a bellwether trial, the other side (or defendants) will generally make a global settlement offer to wrap up all of the other existing claims.
Class-action lawsuit: Class-action cases are different from MDL or MCL cases. In a class-action lawsuit, there are multiple plaintiffs that consolidate their legal efforts into one large action, or “Class Action.” In many circumstances, individuals are not aware of class-action lawsuits, and that is why you often see advertisements to try to notify potential victims of a class-action claim.