Bayer AG last week announced a proposed $1.6 billion deal to settle U.S. claims involving the birth control implant Essure, which plaintiffs claimed caused side effects including hair and tooth loss, bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, miscarriages and death for those implanted with the device and their babies. The settlement aims to resolve about 90% of the nearly 39,000 total claims, including all the cases in venues with high volumes of cases such as the coordinated litigation in California Joint Council Coordinated Proceedings and in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Three of the lead plaintiffs lawyers driving the deal—Fidelma Fitzpatrick of Motley Rice, Edward Wallace of Wexler Wallace, and Erin Copeland of Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs—are this week’s Litigators of the Week. They recently discussed with the Lit Daily how Alameda County Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith, who was overseeing the JCCP proceedings, kept the cases moving forward even as pandemic closures pushed off scheduled trial dates this spring.
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