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From Products Liability Law Daily, April 2, 2015

Special Mediator appointed to oversee settlement negotiations in Takata airbag MDL

By Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

Paul C. Huck, Jr., of Jones Day has been appointed a Special Mediator to oversee and facilitate settlement negotiations among the parties and the insurers involved in the Takata airbag products liability litigation. The court had appointed a Special Master to supervise discovery and to coordinate state litigation but because the Special Master could be perceived as having quasi-judicial duties in making recommendations to resolve discovery disputes, the court expressed its believe that it would be a better practice for the Special Master to refrain from participating in settlement discussions (In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, March 31, 2015, Moreno, F.).

Duties of Special Mediator. In addition to directing and facilitating settlement negotiations among the parties and the insurers, the Special Mediator has the authority to schedule mediation sessions, telephone conference calls, and other forms of communication among the parties, and to require the parties, counsel, expert consultants, and insurers to attend and participate in mediation sessions.

The Special Mediator is authorized to charge $550 per hour for his services to be paid on a monthly basis and shared equally by the participants. The order further provides that mediation shall begin after May 1, 2015 and conclude by January 25, 2016.

The case is Master File No. 15-2599; MDL No. 15-2599.

Companies: Takata; TK Holdings, Inc.

Attorneys: Paul C. Huck, Jr. (Jones Day)

MainStory: TopStory ClassActLitigationNews MotorEquipmentNews

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