The walls are quickly closing in on pharmaceutical giant Bayer A.G. The company has come under scrutiny for its controversial Essure contraceptive device and currently faces hundreds of lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country. Bayer has tried to dismiss Essure state court lawsuits on the grounds that state courts do not have jurisdiction over the device.
But this argument isn’t working anymore. Recently, a federal judge in Missouri ruled 32 Essure lawsuits could proceed in Missouri state court. The cases were remanded back to the St. Louis Circuit Court to be presided over by Judge Henry E. Autrey.
Missouri is the third state to allow state court lawsuits against Bayer to move forward. This past October, a California judge was the first to rule state court lawsuits regarding Essure could proceed. A coordinated docket was created for all California Essure claims. Shortly after the California ruling, a judge in Illinois also ruled Essure lawsuits could proceed in Illinois state court.
It appears the number of state court lawsuits against the company will continue to grow. Plaintiffs in Delaware also asked for a coordinated docket of Essure cases within the state.
But Essure’s legal battle recently went international. While the United States accounts for the majority of Essure sales, the France ranks second in Essure sales, and French women have experienced the same Essure problems as their American counterparts. French women filed two legal complaints against the Bayer, which they hope will lead to a tribunal hearing as early as January 2017.
Women who have experienced debilitating side effects from Essure allege Bayer failed to adequately warn patients and doctors of its risks. For its part, Bayer has denied all wrongdoing and still stands behind the safety and efficacy of its device. However, with mounting Essure lawsuits both in the U.S. and abroad, the company might decide to cut its losses and begin settlement talks.