Clustering and Consolidation

As discussed earlier,111 most federal courts have grouped asbes­tos cases in clusters that are appropriate for trial. Clusters of five to ten cases are common; one court recently conducted the first phase of a trial of thirty cases by a single jury,112 That court has also experimented with the use of multiple juries and has considered the consolidation of up to fifty cases. Use of selection factors such as similarity of injuries, common work sites and product expo­sure, and identity of plaintiffs’ counsel facilitates the efficient pres­entation of evidence. For example, once records of the products used at a work site during a period of time have been identified and introduced into evidence for one worker, they need not be in­troduced for each worker at the same work site during the same time period.

  1. See discussion at notes 100 and 101.