The federal courthouse in East St. Louis will see some extra lawyer traffic after a panel assigned lawsuits against a huge pharmaceutical company here.
U.S. District Chief Judge David Herndon will handle the pre-trial proceedings in lawsuits filed against Bayer Corp., makers of the contraceptive pill, Yaz.
The suits, which could number as many as 25,000, are filed all over the country but will be handled by Herndon as part of the largest multidistrict litigation ever assigned to the district.
Herndon will preside over discovery in those cases, he said, and may later conduct "bellwether" trials that will serve as examples for other trials around the country.
These trials will serve as a guideline for other cases," Herndon said. "There will be a variety of dynamics which will be taken into account in the evaluation of cases."
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington, D.C., determines whether civil cases filed in different federal districts involving common facts should be transferred to one district to avoid duplication in fact-finding efforts and inconsistent pretrial rulings.
Read the complete story at the Belleville News-Democrat.