On May 26, a judge with the Eastern District of Missouri denied a request by Bayer to have the Essure lawsuit removed from a state court in St. Louis, Missouri, to federal court. The judge basically said the lawsuit involving Essure, a birth control device, should stay in the state court.

Would Bayer Have Benefitted?

The removal of the case to federal court could have benefitted Bayer, as federal courts are usually perceived as being friendlier to large corporate defendants. In some cases, lawyers will try to get their cases filed in a court that is known to be more favorable to their clients.

The main reason, however, why Bayer likely wanted the case in the federal court system is because most of the lawyers who work for large corporations are much more familiar with the rules in federal court than they are with state court rules. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are usually more familiar with state court rules.

What Arguments Did Bayer Present?

Bayer said that diversity jurisdiction applied in this case. Bayer argued that each plaintiff’s potential damages were over $75,000, so the federal court needed to hear the case. In addition, Bayer argued that complete diversity could only exist if all of the plaintiffs who were not from Missouri were dismissed. Complete diversity can only occur if the plaintiffs and defendants are not from the same state. Bayer said since it conducts business in Missouri, there would only be seven plaintiffs in the case. The judge said of these arguments that they were rejected in earlier cases and since there was clearly subject matter jurisdiction for the state court, diversity jurisdiction didn’t matter.

Bayer also argued that since the Food and Drug Administration approved Essure and part of the plaintiffs' claims were based on federal law, the case should be heard in federal court. The judge said the Medical Device Amendments to the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act prevent states from imposing requirements that are different than those imposed by federal law.

What Does This Mean for Essure Lawsuit Plaintiffs?

The case will remain in the state court, where it is considered more plaintiff-friendly. If you have been a victim of Essure, an experienced attorney can provide more information on how to seek compensation for your damages.