NuvaRing®, the combined contraceptive vaginal ring that is supposed to provide month-long birth control, is currently involved in a Multi-District Litigation (“MDL”) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Plaintiffs have advanced claims that NuvaRing® is responsible for injuries in some individuals.
In recent months, the defendants filed a motion for the entry of a Lone Pine case management order. Such an order would have required all existing and future plaintiffs in the NuvaRing® MDL to submit a Rule 26(a)(2), or case specific, expert report attesting to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that NuvaRing® caused the injury suffered by each plaintiff. The defendants claimed that the entry of a Lone Pine case management order would promote judicial efficiency by discouraging claims that did not have merit and allowing the Court to group cases with legal similarities. However, the plaintiffs argued that the entry of a Lone Pine case management order would actually have amounted to an onerous burden that would have the effect of discouraging many plaintiffs from filing otherwise viable claims against the defendants. Accordingly, the Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and denied the defendants’ motion for entry of a Lone Pine case management order, without prejudice.