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Davis County v. Purdue Pharma, 2020 UT 17 (Apr. 23, 2020)

Apr 23, 2020

In this interlocutory appeal, the supreme court held that district courts have the inherent authority to transfer cases to a different jurisdiction for pretrial proceedings, and § 78B-3-309 does not limit that authority. In granting in part and denying in part a motion filed by various opioid-manufacturer-defendants to consolidate the fifteen opioid cases filed in the state in the Third District for pretrial proceedings, the Third District declined to order transfer and consolidation of cases pending in other districts. It, however, invited those districts to consider transferring the cases in those districts to the Third District. Upon a motion from a manufacturer-defendant, the Second District did so. The supreme court affirmed, holding that while neither Rule 42 nor § 78B-3-309 grants the authority to transfer cases to another district for pretrial proceedings, doing so is within district courts’ inherent authority. The Second District was well within its discretion in granting the defendant’s motion in this case.