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Minnesota Woman Claims Mirena IUD Caused Life-Threatening Ectopic Pregnancy Revealed in Sonogram

Minnesota Woman Claims Mirena IUD Caused Life-Threatening Ectopic Pregnancy Revealed in Sonogram

Jan 31, 2013

A Minnesota woman claims she suffered a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy caused by the Mirena® IUD contraceptive device she received during a 2006 procedure.

The woman has become the latest to file a lawsuit against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, makers of the Mirena® IUD, claiming that they knowingly hid dangers of its implanted contraceptive device and that it has caused severe pain and permanent injuries. Her lawsuit was filed in early January in Superior Court of New Jersey in Morris County by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, which represents several other victims of the Mirena® IUD.

According to the complaint, the Minnesota woman received Mirena® IUD during an April 2006 procedure. She had believed the marketing materials associated with Mirena® IUD, that targeted so-called “busy moms” who were looking to avoid a second pregnancy. Mirena® IUD is an interuterine device that’s implanted and can remain in the body for up to five years. It prevents pregnancy through the controlled release of a hormone.

To get more women to opt for a procedure to implant Mirena® IUD, Bayer created a social network-style marketing campaign that aimed to connect women who’ve enjoyed success with Mirena® IUD to prospective clients. The “Simple Style” program soon drew the ire of health officials in the U.S., which criticized the campaign for failing to call attention to the side effects of Mirena® IUD and overstating the benefits of it.

After appearing to tolerate Mirena® IUD for a few years, the woman’s physician noticed that the strings that attached the device to the uterus were missing. There had been no evidence to suggest that anything had gone wrong until that point. During a real-time sonography scan, it was determined that Mirena® IUD had perforated through her uterus on the right side. That same scan also revealed a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, which appeared to be a lesion next to her right ovary, according to details provided by the firm in its release announcing the Minnesotan’s lawsuit.

The woman was then forced to endure two painful and dangerous procedures to remove both the Mirena® IUD device (through laproscopic surgery) and the ectopic pregnancy (thanks to a right salpingectomy procedure). The Food and Drug Administration recently warned that an ectopic pregnancy is one of the most dangerous of all side effects of the Mirena® IUD.

In addition to that risk, according to Matthew J. McCauley, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP, who also co-chairs the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Mirena® IUD Litigation Group, the procedure to remove a perforated Mirena® IUD also puts women at risk of more injuries in addition to those posed by the device itself.

There is currently a petition to centralize all Mirena® IUD injury lawsuits as a Multidistrict Litigation in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

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