Paragard IUD Lawsuit To Be Prepared For Bellwether Trial in Early 2024
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal Paragard IUD lawsuits has indicated that the first bellwether trial will be held in early 2024, to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout about 1,400 claims brought by women who suffered painful and debilitating injuries when the birth control implant fractured.
The Paragard IUD is small plastic device wrapped in copper, which is placed in the uterus to provide women long-acting protection against pregnancy for up to ten years.
Although, the procedure is marketed as safe and reversible, allowing doctors to remove the IUD during an out-patient office procedure when women no longer want the birth control, lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system allege that implant fractured or broke as doctors attempted to remove it, often resulting in the need for emergency surgery to retrieve pieces of the IUD, which may cause devastating internal injuries.
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Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, consolidated pretrial proceedings were established in December 2020, transferring all pending and new cases filed throughout the federal court system to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings before Judge Leigh Martin May as part of an MDL (multidistrict litigation).
Status Conference for Paragard MDL Sept. 27
Judge May is scheduled to meet with parties involved in the litigation this week, for a Paragard MDL status conference set for September 27, to review developments in the litigation and progress preparing a small group of representative cases for early trial dates.
According to a proposed agenda (PDF) submitted by the parties last week, lawyers will report on the status of all cases pending in both the federal court system, as well as various state courts, and update the Court on certain discovery issues ruled upon during a prior conference held in July 2022.
The parties also anticipate discussing a scheduling order for the first Paragard bellwether trial, which will help the parties evaluate the relative strengths of their positions by presenting evidence and testimony to a jury.
According to minutes (PDF) from the last meeting before Judge May on September 12, the Court indicated that a trial date will be set to begin in early 2024.
October 2022 Paragard IUD Lawsuit Update
While Judge May initially indicated during the 9/12/2022 status conference that the first case would go before a jury in January 2024, an updated scheduling order has set the first Paragard IUD lawsuit trial to begin on March 4, 2024. However, the start of the case may be delayed further, as the Court indicates that there will be at least 21 days between any rulings on dispositive motions and challenges to the admissibility of expert witness testimony, which are expected to be submitted to the court by late December 2023.
According to the latest docket report (PDF) issued by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on September 15, there are at least 1,399 Paragard IUD lawsuits pending before Judge May.
Each of the claims raise nearly identical allegations, indicating that the manufacturer sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous birth control implant, which was prone to break while doctors attempted to remove it.
As part of the coordinated management of the litigation, Judge May established a bellwether process, where a small group of representative claims are being prepared for early trial dates.
While the outcome of these Pargard bellwether trials will not have any binding impact on other claimants, they are expected to have a large impact on any negotiations for a potential global Paragard IUD settlement that would avoid the need for hundreds of individual cases to be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates after 2024.
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If you or a loved one experienced problems during an attempted removal of a Paragard IUD, settlement benefits may be available.
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