The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has denied the request of defendant cosmetics companies in putative class actions pending in California and New York federal courts to centralize the consumer-fraud litigation in the Southern District of New York to coordinate pre-trial proceedings. In re Maybelline N.Y. & L’Oréal Cosmetic Prods. Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., MDL No. 2447 (JPML, order entered June 6, 2013).
While all of the plaintiffs have alleged that “the defendants’ lip products do not remain on wearers’ lips for the durations advertised,” the JPML notes that the “products are not the same across all actions. In the Southern District of New York and Northern District of California actions, the involved lip products are Maybelline’s SuperStay 10HR Stain Gloss and SuperStay 14HR Lipstick. In the Southern District of California and Eastern District of California actions, the involved product is SuperStay 24HR Lip Color. In addition, two of the actions implicate products not found in any other action. Specifically, the Northern District of California action involves allegations concerning certain mascara products, and the Eastern District of California action involves allegations concerning a foundation product.”
According to the panel, voluntary cooperation and coordination among the parties and courts can minimize the risk of duplicative discovery and inconsistent pre-trial rulings “[t]o the extent that there is factual overlap among the actions.”