PHILADELPHIA, P.A. — Bayer, the medical manufacturing company that produced its highly-controversial Essure fallopian tube birth control insert, will now have to defend its product before a jury a federal judge ruled. According to the industry publication, Massdevice.com, a federal judge who heard argument on Bayer’s partial motion for summary judgment on February 11, 2019, denied Bayer’s motions for summary judgment on ten of the twelve plaintiffs’ cases and allowed partial summary judgment on other plaintiffs’ claims.
The federal judge’s ruling will clear the way for ten plaintiffs to pursue their claims against Bayer for monetary damages. According to the ruling, six of the ten plaintiffs will be able to argue personal injury claims against Bayer, and three plaintiffs have viable claims for breaches of warranty. The judge permitted the tenth plaintiff to argue that Bayer fraudulently concealed the risk of pregnancy despite having the birth control device implanted. The report from Massdevice.com said that 12 plaintiffs were involved in the lawsuit. There was no information reported about the status of the remaining two cases. If the judge allowed Bayer’s motion for summary judgment on the remaining two plaintiffs’ cases, then those plaintiffs could file for relief in the federal appeals court. There was no information provided about the intent of the losing parties to file an appeal.
Bayer’s partial motion for summary judgment focused on the issue of the applicable statute of limitations under Pennsylvania law. Pennsylvania law gives a personal injury plaintiff a two-year window in which they can file a lawsuit. However, Pennsylvania law expands that window for breach of warranty claims, which is a four-year statute of limitations. The judge hearing the case had to decide when the plaintiffs learned of their injuries and when they connected the injuries, more aptly when their doctors connected the injuries, to the Essure birth control device to determine when the relevant statute of limitations started and when it should run.
The remaining cases will go to trial in the future; however, no trial date was published.
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