At the July hearing, the Panel considered whether it would transfer an action to an already existing food industry MDL arising from the marketing of "All Natural" food snacks. The issue before the Panel was whether a pending motion to remand a removed action back to state court is a basis to deny MDL transfer. In re Frito-Lay North America, Inc., All Natural Litig. (MDL No. 2413). As noted in our last edition, the interplay between the worlds of removal and MDL transfer is a long-standing tradition in the annals of the Panel. Specifically, parties (most often, plaintiffs) argue that the pendency of a remand motion is a basis to put the brakes on transfer of the action to an MDL proceeding, at least until the transferor court rules on the remand motion. Taking the bite out of plaintiff’s attempt to change the Panel’s thinking on this issue, the Panel noted that "*w+e have repeatedly held that a motion for remand alone is generally an insufficient basis to vacate a conditional transfer order."1 Accordingly, and consistent with its precedents, the Panel denied this latest attempt to avoid transfer on the basis of a pending challenge to federal jurisdiction. Such objections to jurisdiction can be heard by the MDL transferee court.
This article originally appeared in Law360 on September 24, 2013.