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Mirena IUD Multidistrict Litigation Centralized to New York

Apr 9, 2013

Lawsuits that have been filed into a Mirena® IUD multidistrict litigation (MDL) are being centralized to the Southern District of New York. Many of the plaintiffs in these cases allege that the Mirena® intrauterine (IUD) device migrated from its original position in the uterus, perforating the uterus, and leading to serious injuries.

The Transfer Order filed on April 8, 2013, states that the MDL currently consists of eight cases in eight different districts, and that all but one alleges that the Mirena® IUD migrated from its intended position and perforated the uterus, causing related injuries. The Order went on to say that since the motion has been filed, the Panel has been informed of more than 40 related actions.

The Mirena® IUD was released in 2000. The small, t-shaped plastic device is attached to two strings and works to prevent pregnancy by releasing the hormone levonorgestrel. Placed in the uterus by a health care professional, the Mirena® provides a long-term form of contraception that may be left in the uterus for up to five years.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the most serious side effects associated with the Mirena® IUD include:

  • Perforation of the uterine wall
  • Embedment of the device in the uterine wall
  • Intrauterine pregnancy
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Group A streptococcal sepsis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Mirena® IUD injuries require surgical removal of the Mirena® and may also lead to other serious injuries and infections. Some injuries are long term; some permanent.

In 2009, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., the maker of the Mirena® IUD, was reprimanded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC) for overstating the benefits—and neglecting to mention the risks—of Mirena® in the company’s “Simple Style” program.

“We are glad to see that the litigation is moving forward,” said Matthew J. McCauley, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. “By centralizing these cases to one court before one judge, cases can be processed more efficiently.” The centralized MDL is In Re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2434.

About 75 cases have been filed in New Jersey state court; 50 other cases have been filed in federal courts nationwide. Plaintiffs’ attorneys believe this number will continue to rise, especially given that about 2 million women use the Mirena® worldwide. Parker Waichman has filed 50 of the 60 Mirena® IUD lawsuits pending in the Superior Courts of New Jersey. Mirena® lawsuits allege that the IUD is inherently defective, creates an unreasonable risk of injury to women, and that Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with the Mirena® IUD.

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