Jon Campisi Jul. 3, 2013, 8:08am


An experienced mass tort attorney from Philadelphia has been appointed plaintiffs’ co-

lead counsel in the Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation being overseen by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel in the Empire State.

James Ronca, a lawyer practicing with Philadelphia firm Anapol Schwartz, will serve as co-lead counsel in the multidistrict litigation that has been consolidated in the Southern District of New York, according to the informational website Mirena Injuries.

The site states that Ronca has also been named co-lead counsel in two other MDL cases currently underway: the Trasylol Products Liability Litigation in the Southern District of Florida, and the Zimmer NexGen Products Liability Litigation in the Northern District of Illinois.

Ronca has also been involved with other national pharmaceutical and medical device cases, such as the Depo Provera Litigation, and he is a member of the Depositions Committee of the Baycol Products Liability MDL, according to the Mirena Injuries website.

“Jim’s depth of knowledge spanning numerous areas of personal injury law continues to attract the attention of his peers,” states a post on the website, which is operated by Anapol Schwartz.

The website notes that Ronca was awarded the Musmanno Award by the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association in 1998 for his “achievements as an outstanding litigator and fearless advocate,” and that he was also the recipient of a distinguished service award just last year from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.

The Mirena litigation involves common claims that the birth control device, which was developed by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, can cause injuries in women who have had the system implanted into their bodies.

The basic allegation is that the product can spontaneously perforate the uterine wall and migrate throughout the body, causing a host of problems such as infection and other complications.

This past spring, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation approved of the creation of a Mirena MDL at the Southern District of New York, ruling that the lawsuits being filed across the country contained shared questions of fact.

“In consolidating the large number of Mirena lawsuits spread throughout the United States, the USJP is ensuring the efficient administration of justice for women who have suffered serious injuries allegedly caused by the Mirena IUD ranging from dangerous abscesses to infertility,” plaintiffs’ lawyer William Audet, of the California firm Audet and Partners LLP, was quoted as saying on the website Women’s Health Law Info.

Audet and Partners is merely one firm representing plaintiffs in the litigation.

A news release from the nationwide law firm Bernstein Liebhard LLP, which is also representing plaintiffs in Mirena cases, says that a status conference in the MDL was scheduled for July 1.

The outcome of that conference was not immediately clear.

According to Bernstein Liebhard, nearly 50 Mirena claims have been filed in the Southern District of New York on behalf of allegedly injured plaintiffs.

“We continue to hear from women who allegedly suffered serious Mirena side effects,” the firm stated in its news release. “We look forward to additional progress in this litigation in the coming months.”

Mirena was originally approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration as a birth control method back in 2000, but throughout the years has been mired in claims that the device has caused numerous injuries due to its spontaneous bodily migration.

Ronca, the Philadelphia-based lawyer recently appointed as co-lead counsel in the Mirena MDL, has been a trial lawyer for more than three decades, according to his biography on the Anapol Schwartz website.

The Dickinson School of Law graduate focuses mostly on pharmaceutical and medical device cases, major vehicle accident cases, and construction site litigation.

The three MDL’s on which Ronca has served as co-lead counsel have each comprised more than 1,000 individual cases, his bio states.

Ronca previously served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee, of which he was vice chair in 2011.

As for Anapol Schwartz, the firm bills itself as a Pennsylvania leader in pharmaceutical and medical device mass tort litigation.

It’s lawyers have been, and continue to be, involved with high profile cases, such as the ongoing NFL Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation playing out at the federal court in Philadelphia and the civil rights case in the Middle District of Pennsylvania that arose out of the “Kids for Cash” judicial scandal that resulted in long prison stints for two former Northeastern Pennsylvania trial judges.

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