Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals has taken a position opposing consolidation of legal actions brought against the medical device manufacturer for the Mirena IUD that can only be described as schizophrenic. Bayer opposed the motion filed in the U.S. District Court of Ohio to proceed by consolidating these claims in Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), which is similar to a class action. MDL involves coordinating cases for pre-trial purposes such as conducting discovery and hearing of pre-trial motions.
The plaintiffs moved for consolidation of all existing and future cases against Bayer for injuries caused by the Mirena intrauterine device on January 16, 2013. The plaintiffs requested the cases be heard in front of Judge Patricia A. Gaughan in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division. There are currently a couple dozen Mirena lawsuits pending against Bayer for Mirena IUD related injuries. Most of the cases were filed during the last twelve months and involve post-insertion injuries caused by the Mirena IUD system. The motion for consolidation argues that consolidation will prevent redundant overlapping discovery, preserve judicial resources and prevent conflicting rulings.
While Bayer asserts a number of legal theories to support its opposition, one of the main claims is that the cases pending do not allege common questions of fact. This position is contrary to that asserted by Audet and Partners, LLP attorney for several individual Mirena plaintiffs, and ironic given that Bayer filed a motion for consolidation of Mirena cases in a Middlesex, NJ state court in August 2012. Although Bayer has completely reversed its prior position, the manufacturer of the Mirena IUD claimed consolidation was appropriate based on the premise that many of the claims involved common issues of law and fact.
The medical device company now also opposes consolidation on the grounds that it has engaged in extensive pre-trial preparation in a case filed in South Carolina. Bayer argues that consolidating the cases would negate the extensive work and financial investment already performed in defending that case including production of 1.7 million pages of relevant documents.
Bayer also argued that consolidation would encourage plaintiffs with weak claims to come forward, which would prejudice Bayer. According to the opposition paperwork filed by Bayer, the cases filed to date are without merit because the labeling of the Mirena IUD warns of the risk of perforation. However, the plaintiffs have responded by indicating that the label does not warn of any risk of post-insertion perforation or spontaneous migration that may cause the post-insertion perforation. This means that women may have been lulled into a false sense of security because no symptoms would have been immediately noticeable if the perforation injury did not occur during insertion of the medical device.
The objections raised by Bayer to consolidation are common in this type of litigation. The hearing on the MLD consolidation request is scheduled for later this month – March 21, 2012 in San Diego, CA. The judicial panel will rule on whether the cases should proceed as MDL and determine the location of the consolidation.
If you have suffered injury caused by a Mirena intrauterine device, our experienced Mirena IUD injury attorneys at Audet and Partners, LLP offer a free consultation so that we can evaluate your legal claim and advise you of your options. We invite you to call us at 800-965-1461 or visit our Mirena IUD website at http://www.MirenaComplaints.com.
Persons seeking to preserve any potential legal claims should contact an attorney promptly, since all states have mandatory time periods in which lawsuits must be filed with the courts; otherwise, they may be forever barred.
About Audet and Partners, LLP
Audet & Partners represents individuals, governmental entities, small businesses and institutional shareholders in product liability, tort, negligence, consumer, construction defect, investment fraud, securities, insider trading, antitrust, environmental, whistle blower, aviation and employment cases. In recognition of their outstanding abilities and commitment to the legal profession over the years, the firm and its members have served as Court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Counsel in dozens of federal and state cases throughout the United States.