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In re Daily Fantasy Sports Litigation

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 28, 2016

In re DAILY FANTASY SPORTS LITIGATION This Document Relates to All Cases

          CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 1

          Hon. George A. O'Toole, Jr. United States District Judge

         WHEREAS, on July 19, 2016, this Court conducted a status conference during which the parties and the Court discussed an Amended Master Complaint and after hearing oral argument, the Court instructed counsel to submit an agreed upon First Amended Master Complaint by August 19, 2016.

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:

         A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

         1. In its February 4, 2016 Transfer Order transferring MDL 2677, 2678 and 2679 proceedings to this Court, consolidated as MDL No. 2677, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation found that "[centralization in the District of Massachusetts will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation... Centralization, therefore, will eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, particularly with respect to class certification, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary."

         2. Procedural Order No. 1 dated February 18, 2016, Procedural Order No. 3 (Appointing Plaintiffs' Co-Lead Counsel, Liaison Counsel and Executive Committee) dated March 31, 2016, and this Order were and are intended to streamline and simplify the operation and management of MDL 2677 by reducing the need of the parties to file or respond to (and the Court to decide) pretrial motions in multiple underlying complaints. The Master Complaint is intended to bring together common allegations and claims asserted against Defendants in these MDL proceedings. The Master Complaint is and will continue to be a critical tool to organize and conduct motion practice, to address class certification, and to manage the discovery process. The Master Complaint shall be the operative pleading for these purposes. In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, MDL No: 11:14-md-02543-JMF, ECF Docket 875, Order No. 50, p. 3, ¶2.

         3. The provisions of this Order do not extinguish the claims of individual plaintiffs in the event class certification is denied, or the presentation of claims by individual plaintiffs who exclude themselves from any class that is certified, under procedures to be prescribed by the Court (after hearing from the parties) in connection with its class certification determinations. In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, MDL No: 111:14-md-02543-JMF, ECF Docket 875, Order No. 50, p. 3, ¶ 3.

         B. MASTER COMPLAINT

         4. By agreement with defense counsel and approval from the Court, Plaintiffs are granted until September 2, 2016 to file a First Amended Master Complaint. The First Amended Master Complaint will be the operative complaint that supersedes all previously filed individual complaints, and shall amend the claims and allegations in the Consolidated Consumer Class Action Complaint ("Consolidated Complaint") filed on June 30, 2016, and all complaints (a) now pending before the Court and coordinated as part of MDL 2677 by order of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and (b) in any class actions filed directly in this Court under its original jurisdiction. In Re: Pharmaceutical Industry Average Wholesale Price Litigation, MDL No. 1456, 1:01-cv-12257-PBS (D. Mass.), ECF Docket 135, CMO No. 2, p. 1. With regard to any class actions subsequently transferred to the Court or filed directly in this Court under its original jurisdiction, the First Amended Master Complaint shall supersede and be the operative complaint as to any claims that are the same or substantially similar to claims asserted in the First Amended Master Complaint. All other causes of action shall be dismissed without prejudice consistent with this Case Management Order.

         5. This superseding First Amended Master Complaint can include any and all claims and allegations against the Defendants regardless of whether or not they were included in previously filed individual complaints referred to MDL 2677. The permissibility of additional claims and parties to an MDL master complaint is evidenced in the court's treatment of the addition of plaintiffs and claims added to a consolidated complaint in In re Fluidmaster, Inc. Water Connector Components Products Liability Litigation, 1:14-cv-05696 (N.D. HI. February 3, 2016) Memorandum Opinion and Order at p. 7 (emphasis in original):

Shifting back to the question at hand, although the exercise of consolidation implies a gathering of existing claims, the fact that the consolidated complaint is not a perfect reflection of the underlying claims does not offend the consolidation process, nor does it unduly prejudice or benefit any party to this litigation . The complained-of additions here (i.e., the addition of one putative state subclass and, as discussed below, an expansion in the number of Plaintiffs raising claims brought under California consumer protection laws) are not bad-faith attempts to refocus the litigation or to otherwise avoid some necessary procedural framework as was the case with Plaintiffs' attempt to add Plaintiff Smith; they are minor reworkings of existing claims amongst existing parties that reflect the natural evolution of claims in an MDL proceeding, and allowing these changes will assist in the efficient litigation of this consolidated proceeding.

         6. To the extent service has not been completed for any Defendant named in the First Amended Master Complaint, service of the First Amended Master Complaint in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 will constitute proper service as to all related actions.

         7. The First Amended Master Complaint shall consist of:

a. plaintiffs who have previously filed individual complaints transferred ...

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