Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2112 (rs) To amend title 28, United States Code, to allow a judge to whom a case is transferred to retain jurisdiction over certain multidistrict litigation cases for trial, and to provide for Federal jurisdiction of certain multiparty, multiforum ci...

H.R. 2112 (rs) To amend title 28, United States Code, to allow a judge to whom a case is transferred to retain jurisdiction over certain multidistrict litigation cases for trial, and to provide for Federal jurisdiction of certain multiparty, multiforum ci...


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                                                 Union Calendar No. 165
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2112

                          [Report No. 106-276]

To amend title 28, United States Code, to allow a judge to whom a case 
   is transferred to retain jurisdiction over certain multidistrict 
litigation cases for trial, and to provide for Federal jurisdiction of 
             certain multiparty, multiforum civil actions.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 9, 1999

Mr. Sensenbrenner (for himself, Mr. Hyde, and Mr. Coble) introduced the 
  following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

                             July 30, 1999

  Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole 
       House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]
[For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on June 9, 
                                 1999]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend title 28, United States Code, to allow a judge to whom a case 
   is transferred to retain jurisdiction over certain multidistrict 
litigation cases for trial, and to provide for Federal jurisdiction of 
             certain multiparty, multiforum civil actions.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Multidistrict, Multiparty, 
Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act of 1999''.

SEC. 2. MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION.

    Section 1407 of title 28, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in the third sentence of subsection (a), by inserting 
        ``or ordered transferred to the transferee or other district 
        under subsection (i)'' after ``terminated''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(i)(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and except as provided in 
subsection (j), any action transferred under this section by the panel 
may be transferred for trial purposes, by the judge or judges of the 
transferee district to whom the action was assigned, to the transferee 
or other district in the interest of justice and for the convenience of 
the parties and witnesses.
    ``(2) Any action transferred for trial purposes under paragraph (1) 
shall be remanded by the panel for the determination of compensatory 
damages to the district court from which it was transferred, unless the 
court to which the action has been transferred for trial purposes also 
finds, for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the 
interests of justice, that the action should be retained for the 
determination of compensatory damages.''.

SEC. 3. MULTIPARTY, MULTIFORUM JURISDICTION OF DISTRICT COURTS.

    (a) Basis of Jurisdiction.--
            (1) In general.--Chapter 85 of title 28, United States 
        Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
        section:
``Sec. 1369. Multiparty, multiforum jurisdiction
    ``(a) In General.--The district courts shall have original 
jurisdiction of any civil action involving minimal diversity between 
adverse parties that arises from a single accident, where at least 25 
natural persons have either died or incurred injury in the accident at 
a discrete location and, in the case of injury, the injury has resulted 
in damages which exceed $75,000 per person, exclusive of interest and 
costs, if--
            ``(1) a defendant resides in a State and a substantial part 
        of the accident took place in another State or other location, 
        regardless of whether that defendant is also a resident of the 
        State where a substantial part of the accident took place;
            ``(2) any two defendants reside in different States, 
        regardless of whether such defendants are also residents of the 
        same State or States; or
            ``(3) substantial parts of the accident took place in 
        different States.
    ``(b) Special Rules and Definitions.--For purposes of this 
section--
            ``(1) minimal diversity exists between adverse parties if 
        any party is a citizen of a State and any adverse party is a 
        citizen of another State, a citizen or subject of a foreign 
        state, or a foreign state as defined in section 1603(a) of this 
        title;
            ``(2) a corporation is deemed to be a citizen of any State, 
        and a citizen or subject of any foreign state, in which it is 
        incorporated or has its principal place of business, and is 
        deemed to be a resident of any State in which it is 
        incorporated or licensed to do business or is doing business;
            ``(3) the term `injury' means--
                    ``(A) physical harm to a natural person; and
                    ``(B) physical damage to or destruction of tangible 
                property, but only if physical harm described in 
                subparagraph (A) exists;
            ``(4) the term `accident' means a sudden accident, or a 
        natural event culminating in an accident, that results in death 
        or injury incurred at a discrete location by at least 25 
        natural persons; and
            ``(5) the term `State' includes the District of Columbia, 
        the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or 
        possession of the United States.
    ``(c) Intervening Parties.--In any action in a district court which 
is or could have been brought, in whole or in part, under this section, 
any person with a claim arising from the accident described in 
subsection (a) shall be permitted to intervene as a party plaintiff in 
the action, even if that person could not have brought an action in a 
district court as an original matter.
    ``(d) Notification of Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.--
A district court in which an action under this section is pending shall 
promptly notify the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation of the 
pendency of the action.''.
            (2) Conforming amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 85 of title 28, United States Code, is 
        amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``1369. Multiparty, multiforum jurisdiction.''.
    (b) Venue.--Section 1391 of title 28, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(g) A civil action in which jurisdiction of the district court is 
based upon section 1369 of this title may be brought in any district in 
which any defendant resides or in which a substantial part of the 
accident giving rise to the action took place.''.
    (c) Multidistrict Litigation.--Section 1407 of title 28, United 
States Code, as amended by section 2 of this Act, is further amended by 
adding at the end the following:
    ``(j)(1) In actions transferred under this section when 
jurisdiction is or could have been based, in whole or in part, on 
section 1369 of this title, the transferee district court may, 
notwithstanding any other provision of this section, retain actions so 
transferred for the determination of liability and punitive damages. An 
action retained for the determination of liability shall be remanded to 
the district court from which the action was transferred, or to the 
State court from which the action was removed, for the determination of 
damages, other than punitive damages, unless the court finds, for the 
convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice, 
that the action should be retained for the determination of damages.
    ``(2) Any remand under paragraph (1) shall not be effective until 
60 days after the transferee court has issued an order determining 
liability and has certified its intention to remand some or all of the 
transferred actions for the determination of damages. An appeal with 
respect to the liability determination and the choice of law 
determination of the transferee court may be taken during that 60-day 
period to the court of appeals with appellate jurisdiction over the 
transferee court. In the event a party files such an appeal, the remand 
shall not be effective until the appeal has been finally disposed of. 
Once the remand has become effective, the liability determination and 
the choice of law determination shall not be subject to further review 
by appeal or otherwise.
    ``(3) An appeal with respect to determination of punitive damages 
by the transferee court may be taken, during the 60-day period 
beginning on the date the order making the determination is issued, to 
the court of appeals with jurisdiction over the transferee court.
    ``(4) Any decision under this subsection concerning remand for the 
determination of damages shall not be reviewable by appeal or 
otherwise.
    ``(5) Nothing in this subsection shall restrict the authority of 
the transferee court to transfer or dismiss an action on the ground of 
inconvenient forum.''.
    (d) Removal of Actions.--Section 1441 of title 28, United States 
Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (e) by striking ``(e) The court to which 
        such civil action is removed'' and inserting ``(f) The court to 
        which a civil action is removed under this section''; and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (d) the following new 
        subsection:
    ``(e)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this 
section, a defendant in a civil action in a State court may remove the 
action to the district court of the United States for the district and 
division embracing the place where the action is pending if--
            ``(A) the action could have been brought in a United States 
        district court under section 1369 of this title, or
            ``(B) the defendant is a party to an action which is or 
        could have been brought, in whole or in part, under section 
        1369 in a United States district court and arises from the same 
        accident as the action in State court, even if the action to be 
        removed could not have been brought in a district court as an 
        original matter.
The removal of an action under this subsection shall be made in 
accordance with section 1446 of this title, except that a notice of 
removal may also be filed before trial of the action in State court 
within 30 days after the date on which the defendant first becomes a 
party to an action under section 1369 in a United States district court 
that arises from the same accident as the action in State court, or at 
a later time with leave of the district court.
    ``(2) Whenever an action is removed under this subsection and the 
district court to which it is removed or transferred under section 
1407(j) has made a liability determination requiring further 
proceedings as to damages, the district court shall remand the action 
to the State court from which it had been removed for the determination 
of damages, unless the court finds that, for the convenience of parties 
and witnesses and in the interest of justice, the action should be 
retained for the determination of damages.
    ``(3) Any remand under paragraph (2) shall not be effective until 
60 days after the district court has issued an order determining 
liability and has certified its intention to remand the removed action 
for the determination of damages. An appeal with respect to the 
liability determination and the choice of law determination of the 
district court may be taken during that 60-day period to the court of 
appeals with appellate jurisdiction over the district court. In the 
event a party files such an appeal, the remand shall not be effective 
until the appeal has been finally disposed of. Once the remand has 
become effective, the liability determination and the choice of law 
determination shall not be subject to further review by appeal or 
otherwise.
    ``(4) Any decision under this subsection concerning remand for the 
determination of damages shall not be reviewable by appeal or 
otherwise.
    ``(5) An action removed under this subsection shall be deemed to be 
an action under section 1369 and an action in which jurisdiction is 
based on section 1368 of this title for purposes of this section and 
sections 1407, 1660, 1697, and 1785 of this title.
    ``(6) Nothing in this subsection shall restrict the authority of 
the district court to transfer or dismiss an action on the ground of 
inconvenient forum.''.
    (e) Choice of Law.--
            (1) Determination by the court.--Chapter 111 of title 28, 
        United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
        following new section:
``Sec. 1660. Choice of law in multiparty, multiforum actions
    ``(a) Factors.--In an action which is or could have been brought, 
in whole or in part, under section 1369 of this title, the district 
court in which the action is brought or to which it is removed shall 
determine the source of the applicable substantive law, except that if 
an action is transferred to another district court, the transferee 
court shall determine the source of the applicable substantive law. In 
making this determination, a district court shall not be bound by the 
choice of law rules of any State, and the factors that the court may 
consider in choosing the applicable law include--
            ``(1) the place of the injury;
            ``(2) the place of the conduct causing the injury;
            ``(3) the principal places of business or domiciles of the 
        parties;
            ``(4) the danger of creating unnecessary incentives for 
        forum shopping; and
            ``(5) whether the choice of law would be reasonably 
        foreseeable to the parties.
The factors set forth in paragraphs (1) through (5) shall be evaluated 
according to their relative importance with respect to the particular 
action. If good cause is shown in exceptional cases, including 
constitutional reasons, the court may allow the law of more than one 
State to be applied with respect to a party, claim, or other element of 
an action.
    ``(b) Order Designating Choice of Law.--The district court making 
the determination under subsection (a) shall enter an order designating 
the single jurisdiction whose substantive law is to be applied in all 
other actions under section 1369 arising from the same accident as that 
giving rise to the action in which the determination is made. The 
substantive law of the designated jurisdiction shall be applied to the 
parties and claims in all such actions before the court, and to all 
other elements of each action, except where Federal law applies or the 
order specifically provides for the application of the law of another 
jurisdiction with respect to a party, claim, or other element of an 
action.
    ``(c) Continuation of Choice of Law After Remand.--In an action 
remanded to another district court or a State court under section 
1407(j)(1) or 1441(e)(2) of this title, the district court's choice of 
law under subsection (b) shall continue to apply.''.
            (2) Conforming amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 111 of title 28, United States Code, is 
        amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``1660. Choice of law in multiparty, multiforum actions.''.
    (f) Service of Process.--
            (1) Other than subpoenas.--(A) Chapter 113 of title 28, 
        United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
        following new section:
``Sec. 1697. Service in multiparty, multiforum actions
    ``When the jurisdiction of the district court is based in whole or 
in part upon section 1369 of this title, process, other than subpoenas, 
may be served at any place within the United States, or anywhere 
outside the United States if otherwise permitted by law.''.
            (B) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 113 
        of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the 
        end the following new item:

``1697. Service in multiparty, multiforum actions.''.

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