On June 12, 2020, the Indiana Supreme Court issued another victory for Bayer in the ongoing Essure product liability litigation. In Bayer Corporation et al. v. Rene Lynch et al., 36 plaintiffs filed a product liability suit against Bayer, alleging multiple claims related to a medical device that Bayer manufactured. Bayer filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Indiana Rule of Trial Procedure 12(C), contending that the plaintiffs’ claims were preempted by federal law and otherwise deficient. The trial court denied Bayer’s motion, but certified it for interlocutory appeal. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed. Instead of addressing each of the plaintiffs’ claims, however, it addressed only the claim for manufacturing defect, holding that it was sufficient at the pleading stage to conclude that plaintiffs had any viable claim for relief. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that “in a complaint with multiple claims, the viability of a single claim does not immunize a separate, deficient claim from judgment on the pleadings.” Rather, “Indiana courts are required to address the viability of each claim presented.” The Supreme Court remanded back to the Indiana Court of Appeals “to consider whether Bayer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings was properly denied as to all the plaintiffs’ claims.”
Jon Cohn, Virginia Seitz, Erika Maley and Gabe Schonfeld drafted the briefs, along with Elizabeth Curtin, Michelle Ramirez and Chris Eiswerth.