On May 30, 2013, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (“JPML”) heard argument on Florida Spray Polyurethane Foam (“SPF”) Insulation plaintiff Lucille Renzi’s motion to transfer all of the SPF insulation product liability lawsuits to the Southern District of Florida, where her lawsuit was pending, for coordinated and consolidated pre-trial proceedings. Renzi asserted that multiple other “substantially similar putative class action[s] involving the same allegedly tortious manufacture, distribution, marketing, labeling, installation, and inspection of SPF” existed at the time of her motion that “all involve identical conduct on the part of the defendants” and “common questions of law and fact.” See In Re: Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2444 (Dkt. No. 1, 2-9, 11). She argued that centralization in the Southern District of Florida will save the plaintiffs and defendants the burden of litigating overlapping lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions across the country, and will be more convenient and conserve resources. See id.
On June 6, 2013, the JPML entered an Order Denying Transfer, reasoning:
On the basis of the papers filed and the hearing session held, we will deny plaintiff’s motion. Although these actions share factual questions arising out of allegations that SPF insulation products emit [volatile organic compounds] VOCs as a result of one or more defects associated with the product, the Panel is not persuaded that Section 1407 centralization is necessary either to assure the convenience of the parties and witnesses or for the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. On the present record, it appears that individualized facts concerning the chemical composition of the different products, the training and practices of each installer, and the circumstances of installation at each residence will predominate over the common factual issues alleged by plaintiffs. Additionally, placing direct competitor manufacturer defendants into the same litigation would require protecting trade secret and confidential information from disclosure to all parties and complicate case management.
In Re Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2444 (Dkt. No. 119).