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Mirena IUD Lawsuit Update: Supreme Court of New Jersey Centralizes Litigation

May 30, 2013

The Supreme Court of New Jersey, reconsidering an earlier decision, has centralized all Mirena IUD litigation in Bergen County before Superior Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti.

Because many of these cases contain common allegations, “[c]entralization will allow the litigation to proceed more efficiently,” said Matthew J. McCauley, senior litigation counsel at Parker Waichman LLP, a firm representing a number of plaintiffs in Mirena cases.

Many of the women were told that the Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) would provide convenient, long-term birth control, but instead, they allege, the device perforated the uterus and became embedded elsewhere in the body, requiring surgical removal. The plaintiffs are suing Bayer, the manufacturer, for failing to warn about the risks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Mirena IUD in 2000. The small, t-shaped IUD, once inserted in the uterus, prevents pregnancy by releasing the hormone levonorgestrel. Mirena must be inserted and removed by a healthcare professional. Label information says it can be left in place for up to five years, but many Mirena users discovered that the device did not remain in place. It perforated the uterus and migrated elsewhere in the pelvis, sometimes becoming embedded in other organs.

According to the FDA, serious side effects associated with Mirena include: perforation of the uterine wall; embedment of the device in the uterine wall; intrauterine pregnancy; ectopic pregnancy; streptococcal infection; and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

McCauley was recently appointed co-lead counsel in the Mirena IUD multidistrict litigation in New York and he co-chairs the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Mirena IUD Litigation Group, a group involved in the exchange of educational materials and medical literature.

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