CAFA permits federal removal of “mass actions,” defined as cases in which 100 or more plaintiffs propose to try their claims jointly.  In In re Abbott Laboratories, Inc., 698 F.3d 568 (7th Cir. 2012) (Nos. 12-8020-8027), the court ruled on whether a pending request to transfer cases for consolidation created a mass action.  Plaintiffs had filed ten lawsuits in Illinois concerning a particular drug, involving several hundred plaintiffs, and asked the Illinois Supreme Court to consolidate the matters “through trial” and “not solely for pretrial proceedings.”  The plaintiffs argued that this consolidation would facilitate the efficient disposition of “universal and fundamental substantive questions applicable to all or most” of the cases without “the risk of inconsistent adjudication.”  Defendants removed the various cases in which this motion was filed to federal court.  One district court remanded; another district court declined remand.  The Seventh Circuit concluded that removal was appropriate.  The critical question is whether plaintiffs proposed to try their claims jointly; a proposal for a joint trial can be explicit or implicit, and can be satisfied by an anticipated procedure involving trials of exemplary cases, followed by the application of issue or claim preclusion without another trial.  The court concluded that “[i]n short, a joint trial can take different forms as long as the plaintiffs’ claims are being determined jointly.”  In this case, while the language in the motion was close to the line, the Seventh Circuit agreed that the motion anticipated a joint trial or an exemplar trial in which legal issues would be determined so that those determinations would be applied to the remaining cases.  As a result, removal was appropriate and remand should not have been ordered.