The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has granted the petition of Sanders Phillips Grossman attorneys to create a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for ParaGard intrauterine device (IUD) lawsuits.
A transfer order was entered in the JPML’s online docket on December 16 assigning the cases to Judge Leigh Martin May in the Northern District of Georgia. In the order, the JPML agrees with the arguments put forth by Sanders Phillips Grossman that centralization is appropriate due to the volume, complexity, and commonality of the claims. According to the Panel, “These actions involve common allegations that the Paragard intrauterine device has a propensity to break upon removal, causing complications and injuries, including surgeries to remove the broken piece of the device, infertility, and pain.”
While Sanders Phillips Grossman sought to transfer the cases to the Central District of California, the mass tort firm is pleased with the outcome. “The Panel’s decision is a major victory for all women who have been injured by their ParaGard IUD and seek accountability from Teva,” said SPG Managing Partner Marc Grossman. “It’s also a repudiation of defendants’ argument that these cases do not constitute a genuine mass tort.”
In September, attorneys for Sanders Phillips Grossman filed a JMPL Motion to Transfer. SPG’s Timothy Clark presented arguments to the JPML in favor of centralization on December 3. He told the Panel that “This is going to be a large pharmaceutical litigation, it is regulated technically as a drug not a medical device, there are complex issues and there will be millions of pages of documents.”
Defendants Teva Pharmaceuticals and Cooper Companies criticized the petition, arguing that centralization would allow cases to be added to the MDL “not because they are meritorious, but rather because cases can be easily filed, escape individual scrutiny and artificially inflate case counts.” The Panel’s transfer order dismisses this argument, saying that it “has rejected essentially this same argument on multiple occasions, and does so again here.”
“The notion that our clients’ claims lack merit is itself meritless,” said Grossman. “This is a standard argument used by pharmaceutical companies that amounts to blame-shifting, and I applaud the Panel for rejecting it. We are confident that justice will continue to prevail as this litigation plays out.”
Sanders Phillips Grossman is a national leader in defective medical device litigation. The firm has previously represented injured women in cases involving Essure birth control and transvaginal mesh (TVM), and currently represents hundreds of women who claim Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Since 1965, Sanders Phillips Grossman and its affiliates have taken on the world’s most powerful corporations and recovered over $50 billion for their clients.