California or Ohio? Where should cases against Honda be consolidated?

Update on In re: American Honda Motor Co., Inc., CR-V Vibration Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, case number 2661,  in the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

A number of lawsuits have been filed against Honda accusing the carmaker of concealing vibration problems with its 2015 CR-V.  Plaintiffs allege, among other things, that the vibrations are so bad they cause nausea.

Plaintiffs based in California and Ohio are now competing to have the cases consolidated in their home state. The Ohio plaintiffs petitioned the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to select the Southern District of Ohio as the proper forum.

Because Honda is based in California, California plaintiffs’ counsel argued against Ohio and in favor of the Golden State, with support from Honda itself.  The California plaintiffs’ argument is that there is typically a substantial amount of parent-company discovery in this type of action. In addition, the first-filed case was lodged by a plaintiff in California.

Plaintiffs’ counsel for the Ohio plaintiffs argued that Ohio would be more central to a proposed nationwide class, and that the automobiles in question may have been made in multiple locations across North America. In addition, the Ohio plaintiffs argued that Honda’s top North American executive, Tetsuo Iwamura, was relocated to Marysville, Ohio, in 2013.

“Although marketing and sales are certainly relevant to plaintiffs’ claims, the manufacturing center will contain the research and design witnesses crucial to plaintiffs’ claims that Honda has sold defective vehicles,” the Ohio plaintiffs’ filings say.

The cases all are in their beginning stages and Honda (as of August) has not answered any of them.

For more information about product liability litigation, contact Ford & Diulio PC at 714-384-5540 or EMAIL us.