Law Street Media

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Bayer Birth Control Device Suit

A doctor using a tablet.

Medicine doctor touching electronic medical record on tablet. DNA. Digital healthcare and network connection on hologram modern virtual screen interface, medical technology and futuristic concept.

In a per curiam opinion, an appellate panel has confirmed the findings of a federal trial court that oversaw a personal injury multidistrict suit Bayer Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its corporate relatives faced in the Southern District of New York. The case revolves around the plaintiffs’ contention that Bayer’s intrauterine birth control device, the Mirena Intrauterine System, caused a group of women to develop idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

The plaintiffs appealed from the district court’s June 2019 decision granting summary judgment in favor of Bayer and dismissing the plaintiffs’ products liability claims after precluding the opinions of their expert witnesses as to general causation. On Tuesday, the Second Circuit rejected each of the plaintiffs’ arguments that the lower court improperly excluded their experts’ opinions, erred in granting summary judgment for Bayer, and denied them their right to obtain evidence in discovery. 

In its 12-page opinion, the Second Circuit determined that “the district court appropriately undertook a rigorous review of each of plaintiffs’ experts, and based on that review reasonably found that the experts’ methods were not sufficiently reliable and that their conclusions were not otherwise supported by the scientific community.” As to summary judgment, the court similarly held that “no reasonable juror could find that it was more likely than not that general causation had been established based on plaintiffs’ admissible evidence.”

Finally, as to the plaintiffs’ discovery unfairness contentions, the appellate panel wrote that “the district court did not abuse its broad discretion in managing discovery,” including ordering Bayer to produce millions of documents from more than fifty custodians. Thus, the court affirmed in favor of Bayer, and absent further appeal, concluded more than five years of litigation.

The plaintiff-appellants are represented by Davis & Crump, P.C. The defendant-appellees are represented by Williams & Connolly LLP, Covington & Burling LLP, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP, and Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP.

Exit mobile version