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January 9, 2017

Judge appoints Motley Rice attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick to lead California State Essure® litigation

Judge Winifred Y. Smith in Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, appointed Motley Rice medical device attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick as Lead Counsel of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the coordinated Essure® litigation in California against Bayer Corp. The cases had previously been coordinated as a Judicial Council Coordinate Proceeding (JCCP) and assigned to Judge Smith.

As chair of the PEC, Fitzpatrick will lead a five-person Executive Committee, as well as two liaisons, in seeking compensation for alleged harms suffered by the women. The PEC is responsible for coordinating the activities on behalf of all Plaintiffs’ during all pretrial proceedings.

Thousands of women across the U.S. claim Essure®  has caused serious and permanent injuries, including hundreds represented by Motley Rice. The FDA reports that more than 9,000 voluntary complaints have been submitted by women allegedly harmed by Essure. While Bayer has denied any wrongdoing, the FDA announced in February 2016 that it will require the company to conduct a clinical study and implement a patient decision checklist to make sure potential users of Essure understand the potential, serious risks implanting the device may cause. Additionally, in October 2016, the FDA added a black box warning to Essure’s labeling. A black box warning is the FDA’s highest warning level and indicates that a product may cause serious injuries or death. 

Reported Essure complications include life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, fetal death, migration of the device causing perforation or tear of pelvic organs, additional surgeries, including hysterectomy to remove the device and repair organs, and other severe side effects.

“We stand firm that our clients and all affected by Essure deserve to have their stories heard,” stated Fitzpatrick. “I welcome the opportunity to represent these women as lead, working closely with fellow members of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, and will do all in my power to achieve justice on their behalf.” 

Joining Fitzpatrick on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee are Erin Copeland of Fibich Leebron Copeland Briggs & Johnson; Kim Dougherty of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC; M. Elizabeth Graham of Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.; Edward A. Wallace of Wexler Wallace LLP. Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel are William A. Kershaw of Kershaw, Cook & Talley and M. Elizabeth Graham of Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.

Read the full appointment order.