In re: FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 09-31131 - Injury & Tort Law - U.S. Fifth Circuit
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In re: FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 09-31131

Action Alleging Formaldehyde Exposure in FEMA Trailers

In In re: FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 09-31131, an action based on allegedly injurious formaldehyde exposure in FEMA trailers following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint where 1) the district court's attempt to provide trial results that would offer a firm basis for resolution of the thousands of outstanding cases would be thwarted and unreasonably delayed by granting a continuance; and 2) the district court's action was not so much a sanction against plaintiff as a necessary device to maintain an orderly resolution of the massed cases.

As the court wrote:  "Appellant Bell challenges the dismissal with prejudice of his case following the district court's denial of his requests either to substitute a new "bellwether" plaintiff or to continue the scheduled trial date. The court's actions were taken in the course of its management of thousands of similar MDL-consolidated suits for allegedly injurious formaldehyde exposure in FEMA trailers following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After reviewing all the factors that affected the district court's decisions, we find no abuse of discretion and AFFIRM."

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