Top Courts Rule on Essure Birth Control Cases

Top state courts have been ruling on lawsuits against Bayer, the manufacturer of Essure birth control. For some, it may mean starting all over.

Illinois Supreme Court Ruling

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that 160 women who filed in the state could not continue with their suits because they were from out of state. The court said it didn’t have jurisdiction in cases were the alleged injuries occurred in other states from products that were made in another state.
The women had filed suits because they allege that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings of risks associated with the birth control device. This decision doesn’t mean the end for these women, but it does mean they will need to file in a state where they have connections.
According to the decision, the courts won’t use state resources to try cases that have no real connection to the citizens of the state or the state itself.

Indiana Supreme Court Ruling on Essure Case

Indiana just ruled that claims from 36 women against Essure need to be evaluated to access viability. According to the state Supreme Court, the appellate court didn’t address all the claims made by the women, instead focusing on only one of them, which was defective manufacturing. The court is obligated to review each claim and only remove those which aren’t viable instead of accepting just one claim that was determined to be viable.
The Indiana Court of Appeals will now have to go over each claim made by the plaintiffs. The women alleged that the manufacturer had violated manufacturing requirements that were to follow federal rules. They claimed that the implant caused them to experience various side effects, including back and joint pain, abdominal pain, skin rashes, fatigue and menorrhagia. The plaintiffs also allege that Bayer tried to cover up the adverse effects and misled not only the patients and the public but also federal regulators. According to the plaintiffs, Bayer violated federal and state laws, including the Product Liability Act of Indiana while failing to meet regulatory requirements. These requirements include the following:
  • Failure to report adverse reactions and respond to them
  • Failure to update warnings and labels in a timely manner
  • Failure to report clinical studies with negative data
  • Failure to perform studies and monitoring post-market
Indiana courts are required to address each claim that is presented to determine viability rather than just finding one viable claim and acting on it. The Indiana Supreme Court is not saying that the claims have no merit, but rather that they need to be proven for each claim instead relying on one to move forward. The Court of Appeals will need to go back over each claim before the case can move forward against Bayer.
As more cases are filed against Bayer for Essure, it will be important that all claims are addressed to ensure the victims receive the compensation they are entitled to for their damages from the product.