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Judge Makes Important Ruling in Paragard MDL Cases

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

With more than 100 Paragard lawsuits pending in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), the presiding judge, Leigh Martin May, has ruled that plaintiffs should file a “Master Complaint” this month, as part of a process expected to allow the direct filing of future claims through an abbreviated “Short Form Complaint” in the multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Each of the claims raise similar allegations, indicating the Paragard IUD is prone to fracture and break during removal, leaving women with permanent and debilitating complications. However, as lawyers continue to review and file lawsuits in the coming months and years, it is ultimately expected that several thousand claims will be included in the litigation.

The order will expedite claims processing and ensure a more consistent and smooth discovery process. 

Judge May has directed the parties to meet and prepare an agreed upon Short Form Complaint, as well as a Direct File Order, which will streamline the process for filing new claims directly in the Northern District of Georgia, avoiding costs and delays associated with transferring claims from U.S. District Courts nationwide. The process is also intended to help the parties coordinate, categorize and evaluate the claims.

As part of the proceedings in the MDL, it is expected Judge May will establish a “bellwether” process, where a small group of representative claims will be prepared for early trial dates to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be presented throughout other cases.

This is good news for plaintiffs who have suffered as a result of the defective Paragard birth control device. 

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