U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti, already facing the largest multidistrict litigation docket of her career, could have more on her plate after a federal judicial panel transferred about two dozen related cases to her courtroom.
In a Wednesday order, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation coordinated lawsuits filed over devices made by SoClean Inc. that sanitize breathing machines, used to treat sleep apnea, including the 3 million that Philips recalled last year. Philips attorney Michael Steinberg, of Sullivan & Cromwell in Los Angeles, had argued to combine the SoClean lawsuits with those against Philips, already coordinated into multidistrict litigation before Conti, of the Western District of Pennsylvania. On Dec. 15, Conti held her first hearing in the Philips multidistrict litigation, which has grown to more than 150 lawsuits—by far, she said, “the largest that I have handled.”