Can A Lawsuit Be Consolidated?
While we all have heard about a consolidated balance sheet and income statement, most of us are not aware of the fact that even lawsuits can be consolidated. Many cases have been consolidated in the past and no, it does not have an impact on the final judgment. Consolidation of a case does not mean that you are at a disadvantage or are going to lose. It only means that the case is similar enough with another case in terms of the factor in terms of the legal issues which are presented and they can be grouped together or can be heard at the same time.
It is possible to consolidate both criminal as well as civil cases but the court will always have to consider the risks and the benefits of consolidation to each party before they grant or deny a motion to consolidate. According to Justin Kimball from PreszlerLaw-ns.com explains that if two legal cases arise out of the same accident, the plaintiff may request that the cases be consolidated to avoid the substantial costs of litigating twice.
Times when a lawsuit can be consolidated
Cases lie in the same court: First and foremost, it could be a waste of time for the court and the client to litigate two separate cases which are alike in everything. If the cases are exactly alike and in the same country or district, the courts might consider a consolidation of the case with an aim to reduce the chances of duplicate rulings in the same jurisdiction. The Federal, as well as the State rules, recommend the consolidation of cases when they are presented before the same court. But there have been instances where the court decided to keep the trial separation and opted for different juries. It is more important to consider the questions of law and facts of the case and not the existence of a common court. Consolidation should be done on the basis of the law and not only because there are two cases in the same court.
The common question of law: There are many cases that share a common question of law and are consolidated on the interest of efficiency as well as justice. It is important to understand the common question of law here. It is basically one which can be decided based on the simple and basic interpretation of the law opinion and it does not require the court to play a fact-finder in the given case. For example, if all the owners of a car file the same case that the company owes them for the losses linked to a recall, it will not be necessary to file different cases because all the suits present one common question. When the facts are the same, they are not disputed, and the cases have a common question of law, it is possible to consolidate.
Common question:In many cases, there is one common question of fact which needs the court to be the fact finder and look for evidence. When cases of common question are consolidated, it will save the court the time and efforts of rehearing the same facts again and again. It is very common for toxic cases like suits for the damages related to chemical spills. Such cases are usually consolidated for settlement. When the case is consolidated, the court will hear evidence of many types of injuries related to the conduct as well as the evidence which links the injuries to the defendants. When it is the same court, the questions are the same and the facts are also the same, it is likely to be consolidated.
It is difficult for a layman to decide whether the case will be consolidated or not. What matters is the facts of the case and the court of law. It is usually the court which decides if it will do good to consolidate the case. Even if the facts are the same and the court is the time, there might be a ruling against the consolidation of the case. The case will only be consolidated keeping the best interest if the parties in mind. The two parties in the case cannot ask for consolidation by themselves. It is important that the court considers all the facts and evidence and then makes a decision. The parties have to abide by the decision implemented by the court of law and they need to be presented as and when they are asked for.