On September 25, Judge Brian Martinotti, who is overseeing the multicounty litigation (MCL) over IUD birth control Mirena in New Jersey Supreme Court, issued a court order establishing a timeline for the litigation. Discovery in the MCL has already begun and bellwether trials are scheduled to begin in 2015.
More than 400 women have filed lawsuits against Mirena’s manufacturer.
More than 400 women have filed lawsuits against Mirena’s manufacturer, Bayer, claiming that the company failed to provide an adequate warning for the IUD’s potential side effects including migration of the device and uterine perforation. More than half of the lawsuits were consolidated into a MCL in New Jersey, and the remaining lawsuits throughout the United States were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of New York.
During the next year and a half, attorneys for both the plaintiffs and defendants will be able to compile and exchange different documents during a period called discovery. These pre-trial proceedings will help to strengthen each side’s argument, clarify what exactly happened, and expedite the trials. Attorneys can request the following during discovery:
- Written interrogatories
- Production of documents
A deposition is a record of statements made under oath by witnesses, victims, or other individuals who may contribute to the trial; they can be recorded by video camera or transcription, and become a part of court documents that attorneys can refer to throughout the trial. Similarly, interrogatories are written questions that attorneys send to one another to have questions answered under oath. Admissions are simply when an attorney asks for an individual to admit to something in the case, and production of documents is just a formal request for items that may be germane to the case.