The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul L. Friedman, United States District Judge
On January 7, 2003, the Court consolidated 30 civil actions with the above-captioned case.*fn1 Subsequent to the consolidation, approximately 215 additional actions have been filed that raise the same or similar legal and factual issues. Under Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court may consolidate separately filed cases when the cases involve a common question of law or fact. See FED. R. Civ. P. 42(a). Under Local Civil Rule 40.5(d), motions to consolidate shall be determined by the judge to whom the earliest numbered case is assigned. See LCvR 40.5(d).
The Court has determined that the 246 actions listed in Appendix A to this Case Management Order involve the same or similar legal issues. It therefore concludes that consolidation of these cases is appropriate. Furthermore, upon consideration of the proposed case management plan submitted by counsel for all parties in the 31 previously-consolidated cases and of the complaints filed in the 215 related cases, and recognizing the logistical burdens plaintiffs' counsel have placed on the Court by filing separate actions instead of one class action lawsuit, the Court has determined that a global case management plan is necessary in order to effectuate the efficient disposition of these actions. The Court also has concluded that the burden to procedurally coordinate all of these matters (and any related cases subsequently filed) for all plaintiffs and to communicate and coordinate with defendant's counsel should be borne by the four law firms that have filed the vast majority of these cases. Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED that Baystate Health System v. Tommy Thompson, Civil Action No. 02-0601 and those actions listed in Appendix A to this Order are hereby CONSOLIDATED; it is
FURTHER ORDERED that in order to facilitate the efficient management of these 246 cases, plaintiffs' counsel (1) shall continue to serve the persons statutorily required to be served with pleadings on behalf of defendant Thompson with all pleadings in these consolidated actions and in any related cases subsequently filed; and (2) in addition, shall provide copies of all past, present and future pleadings, motions, oppositions, replies and other filings in these consolidated actions and in any related cases subsequently filed, with the exception of the past filings in the 31 cases previously consolidated on January 7, 2003, to Robert E. Leidenheimer, Jr., Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, 555 Fourth St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20530 (hereinafter "government counsel"); it is
FURTHER ORDERED that those counsel not currently registered in the Court's Electronic Case Filing ("ECF") system shall contact the Clerk's Office in order to register;*fn2 it is
FURTHER ORDERED that all papers raising matters and issues common to more than one of these consolidated cases henceforth shall be filed only in the newly-created Miscellaneous Action No. 03-0090 (PLF) under the caption "In Re: Medicare Reimbursement Litigation," and not in their individually-numbered cases; the individual cases to which the filings pertain nevertheless shall be listed in the caption of that filing as demonstrated in the following examples:
MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT LITIGATION
Misc. No. 03-0090 (PLF) This document relates to:
COVENANT MEDICAL CENTER v. THOMPSON, No. 02-0683
SAINT LUKE'S HOSPITAL OF KANSAS CITY v. THOMPSON, No. 02-1373
MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT ...