Philadelphia court will hear cases against Bayer over Essure birth control device

By Karen Kidd | Aug 6, 2018

PHILADELPHIA  — More than a dozen lawsuits against Bayer Essure over a contraceptive device will go back to state court after a federal court ruling.

Judge John R. Padova of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania remanded 16 cases back to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

"Bayer has simply not established that there is an actual disagreement about an interpretation of federal law that is material to the claims at issue," Padova wrote in his 13-page memorandum and order issued July 23.

"Moreover, it has not established that the resolution of any dispute would have ramifications in federal cases outside of the Essure context or is otherwise important to the federal system as a whole," he wrote. "Indeed, we conclude that Bayer has failed to identify any federal issue that holds significance for anyone other than the parties."

U.S. District Court Judge John R. Padova  

Plaintiffs allege Bayer negligently trained physicians who did not report adverse side effects from the contraceptive called Essure to the Food and Drug Administration. Bayer has described Essure's safety profile as "the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved non-incisional form of permanent birth control."

Bayer removed the cases to the federal court, claiming five of the cases involved plaintiffs not living in Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs in the cases asked that their lawsuits be remanded back to the state court. The plaintiffs successfully argued that the forum defendant rule did not apply.

Bayer announced in June that it would voluntarily discontinue U.S. sales of Essure by the end of this year "for business reasons" but earlier this month affirmed the safety profile of the device. Last week, Bayer took Netflix to task over the accuracy of its medical device documentary "The Bleeding Edge."

Lawsuits against Bayer over its Essure device bloomed in Pennsylvania's Eastern District Court last year.

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