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Essure Cases May Be Returned To Home Counties For Trials

Holly Kelly Ennis Sept. 23, 2019

After fours years of legal manueverings, the first Essure cases are scheduled to be tried before the Honorable Winifred Smith in Oakland, CA in February, 2020.  However, in a surprise ruling last week, Judge Smith indicated her plans to send nearly 27,000 cases back to their home counties, where the cases were originally filed to be tried as she does not have the resources to try them all in Alameda County Circuit Court.   Judge Smith advised the parties she will notify other judges that they should expect, "the first wave of Essure cases early next year."  Judge Smith also plans to transfer more that 500 Roundup cases pending before her as well to other courts in California.

Although Judge Smith intends to preside over some of the bellwhether cases, the sheer number of cases pending would mean that Judge Smith would be trying cases, "until the next century," she stated. Judge Smith reasoned that the bellwether trials would be over eventually; therfore, attorneys and the courts must resolve how to handle the remaining volume of cases.

The parties are clashing on how the bellwether cases should be tried. Plaintiffs have suggested that counsel for each side select bellwether or test cases based upon certain legal issues targeting specific states so that trial results would better inform other pending cases. Bayer's counsel, however, suggests that bellwether cases should be selected randomly.  Although Judge Smith noted that addressing a particular type of issue in the trial groupings "is a good thing," she suggested that the parties meet and confer about the issues and come back to her with suggestions. 

Across the country, hundreds of cases pending in Federal court in Pennsylvania are also gearing up for bellwether trial dates starting in July 2020. Hundreds more Essure cases are pending in state courts in Philadelphia, Indiana, Illinois, St Louis and Kentucky which are all moving toward trial dates in the future as well. If you or a loved one have suffered with the Essure device, time is of the essence in consulting an attorney. Contact Holly Ennis at to protect your legal rights. You can also visit us online at