Essure Litigation – Status Update
On July 20, 2018, Bayer issued a press release announcing that, as of December 2018, Essure would no longer be sold in the United States. To many, this decision seems long overdue, particularly in light of the fact that, since September of 2017, Bayer had removed Essure from every other market outside of the U.S. Of course, this decision does not come without controversy. Despite the number of safety concerns reported to the FDA almost surpassing 20,000, Bayer continues to promote Essure as a safe and effective form of permanent birth control. In fact, reps for Bayer maintain that the decision to pull Essure from the U.S. market was “purely a business decision – not a recall – due to declining sales…” However, because Essure has not been recalled by Bayer or the FDA, it will still be a permanent birth control option available to women through the end of 2019. A fact that does not sit well with those who have first-hand knowledge of the horrible and debilitating side effects caused by this device.
Marketed by Conceptus and Bayer since November of 2002, as a safe and effective form of permanent birth control, thousands of women having received the Essure device have reported numerous side effects including: severe pain and heavy bleeding during menstruation; severe abdominal cramping and bloating; development of autoimmune disorders, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis; unintended pregnancy; and device migration and perforation. Consequently, many of these women have had to undergo partial and total hysterectomies, often including the removal of their fallopian tubes and ovaries, as these types of surgeries are the only option for removal in most women.
Thousands of women and their doctors were led by manufacturers to believe that Essure was a safer, less painful, and non-surgical alternative to tubal ligation, when nothing could be further from the truth. The deceit and irreparable harm experienced by device recipients birthed the Essure litigation, and since December of 2015, more than 16,000 lawsuits have been filed against Bayer in state and federal courts.
More specifically, about 93% of the Essure lawsuits currently on file were filed in state court in California. Those filings have since been merged into a mass tort coordination, which is being overseen by Judge Winifred Smith in Alameda County. A mass tort coordination, not to be confused with a class action lawsuit, are separate individual claims for personal injuries. Unlike a class action where the settlement or verdict is shared among the members of the class, a settlement or verdict in a mass tort coordination is specific to each plaintiff, based on the facts and circumstances of his or her individual case. The remaining Essure cases have been filed in state court in St. Louis, Missouri, and in federal court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
To date, none of the Essure cases have gone to trial or settled. While this may seem unusual, considering that some of the very first cases were filed almost three years ago, the fact of the matter remains that the litigation is still considered to be in the very early stages. The first trial in the California coordination was only recently scheduled and is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019. However, trial dates in St. Louis and Philadelphia have not yet been scheduled.
The time to file an Essure claim may be running out. More specifically, each state has very strict time limitations that apply to these types of claims. These strict time limitations, also known as the statute of limitations, govern the amount of time available to file a lawsuit. If the applicable statute of limitations expires prior to filing suit, the right to recover compensation, or file a claim related to injury, may be forever lost.
Don’t delay. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the Essure device, The Yost Legal Group may be able to help. Our team of experienced legal professionals is here to offer you free, individual consultation. We serve as the voice of our clients to hold Big Pharma accountable and obtain the justice each one so rightfully deserves. Call The Yost Legal Group (1-800-YOST-LAW) today. Let us be your voice.