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.