As we have discussed in previous posts, 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.
Recently, defendants filed numerous motions to dismiss certain plaintiff’s claims for failure to provide a timely or complete “Plaintiff Fact Sheet” (also known as a “PFS”). In pharmaceutical cases with Mass Tort or Multi-District Litigation designations, plaintiffs are required to submit a detailed PFS. The PFS requires the plaintiff to supply medical, liability and general background information within a specified time period, usually subject to periodic updating and revision. The PFS is instrumental in permitting both parties, as well as the Court, to choose bellwether cases for case specific discovery and trial. While defendants’ counsel invariably submit that a broad PFS is especially crucial to determine the defenses to a particular plaintiff’s claims, plaintiffs’ counsel must make certain that the PFS is sufficiently circumscribed so as not to be particularly burdensome to the plaintiffs. Accordingly, there is a constant tension between the parties as to the timing and content of the PFS’s, usually culminating in similar protracted motion practice throughout the litigation.