Month: December 2019

3M Earplug, Roundup, and Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Spike in 2019

The number of lawsuits involving Roundup weed killer, 3M military earplugs and hernia mesh products has grown significantly in 2019. The lawsuits are part of multidistrict litigations, or MDLs, which combine large numbers of similar federal cases.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is a special body within the United States federal court system tasked with establishing MDLs. The panel compiles current MDL statistics into monthly reports.

According to the November 2019 report, the MDLs involving 3M earplugs and Roundup were among the country’s largest that month. Hernia mesh MDLs also remained near the top of the list.

Third Circuit Clarifies Next Steps in Fosamax Decision

On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has in turn remanded the case to the district court to determine whether state law claims are preempted by federal law in the 500+ lawsuits pending regarding the medication Fosamax in Merck Sharpe & Dohme v. Albrecht. As previously discussed on this blog in May 2019, the United States Supreme Court held that the issue of federal preemption is one to be decided by the court and not a jury, while somewhat clarifying the “clear evidence” standard governing the analysis.

After the high court’s decision, it was unclear whether the Third Circuit would remand the cases to the district court for application of the Supreme Court’s guidance or decide the issue – a legal one, after all, as just declared by the Supreme Court – itself de novo. Following supplemental briefing by the parties, with a November 25, 2019, Order, the Third Circuit elected the former procedure, kicking these cases back to the district court on remand:

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