Bayer AG’s contraceptive products have really been under fire lately. The company is facing more than 10,000 lawsuits over its Yasmin and Yaz birth control pills, some of which it settled earlier this week.
But a popular intrauterine device (IUD) that Bayer manufactures has also been the subject of injury lawsuits, which the company tried to prevent a court from consolidating on Thursday. The suits allege that the Mirena IUD’s label did not adequately warn of the risk that the device could perforate the uterus and migrate elsewhere in the body.
Dawn Chmielewski, a lawyer for many of the plaintiffs, argued that the more than 40 lawsuits filed in different federal courts should be consolidated in front of a single judge for the sake of promoting efficiency. Bayer countered that consolidating the lawsuits would actually slow down the litigation and incentivize plaintiffs to bring more lawsuits.
According to Thomson Reuters, defendants used to be the ones who called for consolidation, overwhelmed by large numbers of cases. In recent years, plaintiffs have increasingly sought consolidation while defendants oppose it. It can sometimes pressure companies into settling, or expand the scope of litigation.
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