Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (03/14/2001)

Multidistrict, Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act of 2001 - Amends the Federal judicial code to allow a civil action transferred for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings (multidistrict litigation) to be transferred to the transferee or other district for trial purposes in the interest of justice and for the convenience of the parties and witnesses. Directs that any such action transferred for trial purposes be remanded to the district court from which it was transferred for the determination of compensatory damages, unless the court also finds that the action should be retained for the determination of compensatory damages for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice.

Grants Federal district courts original jurisdiction over civil actions arising out of a single accident that results in the death or injury of 25 or more natural persons, provided the injury has resulted in damages which exceed $150,000 per person and minimal diversity of citizenship (as prescribed in this Act) exists. Directs the district court to abstain from hearing any such action in which: (1) the substantial majority of all plaintiffs are citizens of a single State of which the primary defendants are also citizens; and (2) the claims asserted will be governed primarily by the laws of that State. Permits any person with a claim arising from such an accident to intervene as a party plaintiff, even if that person could not have brought an action in district court as an original matter. Requires a federal district court in which such an action is pending to notify the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation. Authorizes venue for such action in any district in which a defendant resides or in which a substantial part of the accident occurred.

Permits a district court to retain such actions for the determination of liability and punitive damages. Calls for remand of determinations of damages other than punitive damages, including the possibility of remand to State courts in which actions were originally filed, unless the Federal court finds that it would serve the convenience of parties and witnesses and the interests of justice to retain the action for the determination of such damages as well.

Permits removal of actions which could have been brought in district court under the above provisions from State to U.S. district courts. Authorizes removal before trial within 30 days of a defendant's becoming a party to a suit under this Act, or at a later time with leave of the district court. Establishes a presumption in favor of discretionary remand to State courts for damages determinations after rulings on liability.

Authorizes nationwide service of process and, upon a showing of good cause, nationwide service of subpoenas with regard to actions under this Act.