Last month, a group of plaintiffs filed a motion requesting that all federal Mirena IUD lawsuits be consolidated into an MDL. The defendant, Bayer, is fighting this motion.
The technical definition of an MDL is a “sort of class action.” Okay, maybe not so technical.
But the nutshell is that this type of coordination allows the cases to be combined before one federal judge for the purpose of common discovery. In this instance, all product liability lawsuits filed against Bayer over the IUD would be transferred to one U.S. District Judge for coordinated handling during the pretrial proceedings.
Bayer has now filed a response opposing the centralization of these cases, arguing that the centralization of these cases is not appropriate and that it would prejudice their ability to defend the safety of the implantable birth control device by delaying the start of the first trial dates. They further argue that this delay will encourage the filing of “marginal” Mirena cases, which may require the drug maker to start negotiating settlements for business reasons, and not legal ones. This argument does not make a ton of sense to me and I doubt it will to the panel either.
One MDL purpose is to reduce duplicative discovery. Bayer is arguing though that with the MDL, they would be faced with “starting over” and be forced to duplicate discovery that has already been completed. They are arguing that there are not sufficiently common issues of fact and law to require centralized management of the litigation. Again, this is a tough argument to make. All of these cases involve the safety of the device. There are tons of issues and witnesses that will be common to both cases.
At the time the motion to consolidate was filed, eight different cases were identified, one of which was filed more than two years ago. Product liability lawyers have suggested that hundreds of complaints, if not thousands, will likely be filed in the near future.
A hearing on whether or not the cases will be consolidated is expected to be held in March.
Getting a Mirena IUD Lawyer
If you used Mirena and experienced complications, including surgical removal, infection, or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and want to inquire as to whether you have a lawsuit, contact our attorneys at 800-553-8082 or get a free on-line consultation here.