Backroom Bargaining in Multidistrict Litigation

Cambridge University Press

About the Book

Mass Tort Deals marshals a wide array of empirical data on multidistrict litigation to suggest that the systematic lack of checks and balances in our courts may benefit everyone but the plaintiffs.


Multidistrict proceedings, which place a single judge in charge of similar lawsuits filed across the country, consume over one-third of the federal courts’ pending civil docket. These are not run-of-the-mill disputes. Litigation over products like opioids, Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, Bayer’s permanent birth control Essure, and General Motors ignition switch defects are headline-grabbing media magnets.


Federal judges certify a small handful of these proceedings as class actions, which affords them judicial safeguards. But as tort reform has made its way into civil procedure, it has effectively clamped down on class actions. As the continued suits over defective products suggest, however, those claims have not disappeared. Instead, they proceed as droves of individual suits packaged together by the courts and the lawyers. And for those mass torts, the risks for plaintiffs are significant: their lawyer may sell them out, and the jury trials they’ve come to expect are even rarer than the Perry Mason reruns that feature them.


Books by Elizabeth Burch

The Law of Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation

Mass Tort Deals:

Backroom Bargaining in Multidistrict Litigation


“Share the amazing things your customers are saying about you. Double click, or click Edit Text to make it yours.”


"A University of Georgia law professor has written a page-turning expose making the case that lawyers are enriching themselves at the expense of their clients in high-stakes, bet-the-company products liability cases.” 

—  Katheryn Turner, The Daily Report

Request a Review Copy

To request a review copy of Mass Tort Deals, please include your name, address, and the publication for which you write. Copies will be sent closer to publication.

For media or other inquiries, please contact me directly:


University of Georgia School of Law

225 Herty Drive

Athens Georgia 30606

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