Transitions Lenses Antitrust Litigation Transferred to Middle District of Florida

by charlesjung

transitions lenses
Image by Will Norris via Flickr

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, the Transitions Optical, Inc. actions transferred to the Middle District of Florida and assigned to the Honorable James D. Whittemore for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.  In re Transitions Lenses Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2173, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2010 WL 3153211 U.S. Jud. Pan. Mult. Lit. Aug. 6, 2010).

Writing for the Panel, Chairman John G. Heyburn II concluded that:

On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, we find that these actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization under Section 1407 in the Middle District of Florida will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this antitrust litigation. These actions share factual questions relating to alleged anticompetitive conduct in the photochromic lens industry. Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

The Middle District of Florida stands out as an appropriate transferee forum. All domestic defendants and plaintiffs in a majority of the actions support transfer to this district as a first or alternative choice; no other forum has comparable support. Additionally, relevant documents and witnesses are possibly found there, inasmuch as Transitions has its principal place of business in the Middle District of Florida. By centralizing these actions before Judge James D. Whittemore, we are selecting an experienced transferee judge to steer this litigation on a prudent course.

The Central District of California litigation is Amanda Gable v. Transitions Optical, Inc., C.A. No. 8:10-487.