On Friday, Judge Leigh Martin May of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, presiding over the multidistrict litigation (MDL) docket for ParaGard IUD injury cases, appointed a group of 25 plaintiffs’ lawyers for various leadership roles.
According to the order issued, the federal judge has appointed one plaintiffs’ liaison counsel, two plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel, five will serve on a Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, and seventeen will serve on a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. The attorneys who will serve in the leadership committee would also represent their individual plaintiffs.
A bellwether process is also expected, which would include a small group of representative claims that will be prepared for early trials to determine how juries respond to certain evidence and testimony during the process.
The result of these early trials will not hold an obligation on other cases and will be closely monitored by the parties as it would influence settlements for the plaintiffs, helping avoid the need for individual trials nationwide in the coming years.
The docket was formed in December 2020 when the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued a transfer order confirming the centralization of all ParaGard IUD cases in the Northern District of Georgia for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.
Currently, around 116 complaints are pending in the MDL and the number of lawsuits seems to be growing, each involving common allegations that the birth control device has a risk of breaking upon removal, causing complications and injuries, including surgeries to remove the broken piece of the device, infertility, and pain.