Earlier this month, Bayer Pharmaceuticals filed a motion to bar several women from consolidating their Mirena IUD lawsuits into multidistrict litigation. The company stated that it has spent two years preparing discovery documents for one case, and that it would take even more time and money to prepare for an MDL.
However, according to Wall Street Journal writer Dionne Searcey, "Many lawyers agree the multidistrict litigation process has benefits. Attorneys can share depositions and evidence gathering to cut costs and save time." Or, as one defense attorney stated, "It prevents the version of the movie Groundhog Day where an attorney wakes up in the morning in a different court and does the same thing that he or she did in another court."
More importantly, Congress instituted the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in 1968 to "prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings," according to its website.
Interestingly, Bayer sought centralized management of 16 Mirena cases in New Jersey last year.
"[I]n each of the matters currently pending in Morris County, the female plaintiffs allege to have had a Mirena device inserted and allege injuries and/or damages as a result of misplacement of the device," the company stated.
The acting administrative director of New Jersey Courts denied Bayer's request.
On March 21, 2013, the MDL panel will conduct a hearing to determine, among other matters, whether plaintiffs' cases will be transferred from courts across the country to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
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