Second Time’s the Charm for Centralization of NJ Mirena Lawsuits

In a notice published yesterday, the New Jersey Supreme Court has reversed its prior refusal to centralize New Jersey state court lawsuits involving Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals’ Mirena contraceptive device, and has decided to centralize all such pending suits before Judge Brian Martinotti in Bergen County.

As we noted previously, Bayer submitted an application last year seeking centralization of its Mirena litigation in Middlesex County, but its request was denied several months ago.  In March, Bayer resubmitted its application, and comments supporting the application were submitted by two plaintiffs’ firms — Parker Waichman and Anapol Schwartz.  While Bayer again sought centralization in Middlesex County, Anapol Schwartz favored Bergen County, and Parker Waichman expressed no preference on location.

Unfortunately, just as the prior denial of centralization provided no insight into why that negative decision was reached, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision this month to centralize all Mirena lawsuits before Judge Martinotti comes without any explanation for why the Court changed its mind.  As a result, practitioners in this area are again left without useful teaching as to what factors motivate decisions — for or against — on centralization by New Jersey’s highest court.

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