Mirena IUD Pseudotumor Cerebri Claims Consolidated in New York The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has granted a second multidistrict litigation (MDL) for Mirena IUD lawsuits. The recently created MDL consolidates lawsuits alleging that the contraceptive device caused intracranial hypertension, or pseudotumor cerebri. The previous MDL consolidates lawsuits alleging device migration.
The drug and medical device attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing clients in personal injury and product liability lawsuits. Parker Waichman continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a Mirena IUD lawsuit.
According to court records, Mirena IUD intracranial hypertension claims have been consolidated in the Southern District of New York before Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. Currently, he will be presiding over 113 actions in 17 districts.
The JPML establishes an MDL when there are a significant number of lawsuits sharing common questions of fact. These lawsuits are grouped together in court to make the legal process more efficient. When cases are consolidated to one court before one judge, it eliminates the need for duplicate pretrial proceedings such as the discovery phase.
Previously, a different group of plaintiffs had asked the JPML to create an MDL for Mirena IUD intracranial hypertension claims. The request was denied in July 2014. At the time, JPML found that the cases shared common factual issues, but decided against centralization due to the limited number of actions, the few involved plaintiffs’ counsel, and defendant BHCP’s commitment to coordinating common discovery.
The JPML reopened the Mirena IUD device migration MDL in November 2016. These lawsuits allege that the IUD migrated from its original location in the uterus, causing injuries. The claims are separate from those alleging intracranial hypertension.
In arguing for consolidation once again for Mirena IUD intracranial hypertension claims, plaintiffs pointed out that the litigation has grown substantially. The JPML granted the motion.
“First, the number of actions, districts, and counsel have grown substantially. The motion for centralization encompasses 113 pending actions in 17 districts, and there are at least 37 potential tagalong actions bringing the total number of involved districts to 20. The number of distinct plaintiffs’ counsel involved in this litigation also has expanded. There now are at least 12 unaffiliated plaintiffs’ firms in widely dispersed geographic locations. And although Bayer continues to have national coordinating counsel, at least 20 firms are litigating the underlying actions on the motion on its behalf. In our judgment, the number of actions, districts, and plaintiffs’ and defense counsel make effective coordination on an informal basis impracticable,” the panel stated.
Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) manufactured by Bayer. It is a t-shaped device attached to two strings. The IUD is placed inside the uterus by a healthcare professional, where it releases the hormonal levonorgestrel. It can remain in place for up to five years, preventing pregnancy.
The FDA has said that the most serious complications linked 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 and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Mirena IUD Lawsuits Allege Intracranial Hypertension
Intracranial hypertension, also known as pseudotumor cerebri, is caused by a buildup of pressure in the skull. It causes symptoms resembling a brain tumor, when no tumor is present. According to Mayo Clinic, pseudotumor cerebri can cause the following symptoms:
- Headaches that may originate behind the eyes and get worse with eye movement
- Ringing in the ears that pulses in time with your heartbeat (pulsatile tinnitus)
- Nausea, vomiting, dizziness
- Brief moments of blindness, lasting only a few seconds and affecting one or both eyes
- Difficulty seeing to the side
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Seeing light flashes (photopsia)
- Pain the neck, shoulder or back
One Mirena IUD lawsuit was filed on March 11, 2016 in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. The plaintiff is a woman who developed intracranial hypertension, allegedly due to the Mirena IUD. According to her complaint, she suffered loss of vision, blurred vision and photophobia (sensitivity to light). She was diagnosed with papillary edema, or swelling of the optic nerves. Brain imaging and a lumbar puncture showed that she suffered from idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which causes pressure to build inside the skull. The plaintiff alleges that Bayer failed to warn about the risks.