On April 6, 2017, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has reconsidered after previously denying a motion to centralize the Mirena Pseudotumor Cerebri lawsuits. The decision was made to consolidate the cases in order to streamline pre-trial proceedings. The motion for centralization involves 113 pending Mirena cases in 17 districts, and an additional 37 potential actions, which could bring the number of districts up to 20.
The JPML has chosen the U.S. District Court for Southern New York for the litigation as it is close to Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceutical’s corporate headquarters in New Jersey, and conveniently located. It will be overseen by the honorable Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. The transfer order to establish the multidistrict litigation (MDL) said the “number of actions, districts, and plaintiffs’ and defense counsel make effective coordination on an informal basis impracticable.”
Centralization of Brain Injury Lawsuits
An MDL is frequently formed to eliminate duplicate discovery, lower court costs, and allows for a faster outcome, thereby making it generally more efficient. The JPML states, “These actions share factual questions arising out of allegations that the synthetic hormone released by Mirena (levonorgestrel) causes abnormal elevation of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull, resulting in a neurological condition referred to as intracranial hypertension or pseudotumor cerebri, and that defendants did not adequately warn prescribing physicians or consumers of the alleged risk.”
National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive experience and success in defective medical device litigation. The firm’s attorneys are available to answer legal questions from individuals seeking information for a potential lawsuit.
Intracranial Hypertension Information
Pseudotumor cerebri happens when pressure inside the skull (intracranial pressure) rises significantly for no apparent reason. Individuals who suffer from intracranial hypertension experience symptoms that mimic a brain tumor, suffering severe pain and debilitating migraine-like headaches.
This condition is also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (ICH) and can cause permanent vision loss due to the uncontrolled swelling of the optic nerve. There is only one way doctors can accurately diagnose ICH and that is by performing a spinal tap. Some prescription medications may help to lower intracranial pressure, for some patients, surgical intervention is necessary.
Symptoms for intracranial pressure may include: blurred or low vision; pain when rolling the eyes; severe headaches that increase with eye movement; tinnitus (ringing in the ears); brief periods of vision loss; and visual disturbances such as flashing or blinking lights.
Some side effects women have experienced with the Mirena IUD (intrauterine device) are: missed or excessively painful periods (amenorrhea), heavier bleeding during the first weeks after device insertion, abdominal or pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, back pain, migraine headache, nervousness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, bloating, breast tenderness or pain, weight gain, changes in hair growth; acne, depression, changes in mood, loss of interest in sex, itching or skin rash, and puffiness in the face, hands, ankles, or feet, according to RxList.
The levonorgestrel-coated IUD device may become embedded into the wall of the uterus, or may perforate, or form a hole, in the uterus. If this occurs, the device may move outside the uterus and cause scarring, infection, or damage to other organs. If the device embeds in or perforates the uterine wall, a physician may need to surgically remove the device.
Bayer maintains that the Mirena IUD is 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, however, some women who have had a Mirena IUD inserted allege that the device is prone to migrating from its initial position in the uterus. If the IUD travels out of position, it may fail to prevent pregnancy. The complaints involving the Mirena device say the IUD has caused injuries and complications including pain, bleeding, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies (pregnancy outside the uterus), uterine perforations, scarring, organ damage, and infertility.
Mirena IUD Lawsuits
The Mirena IUD was approved and available to the public in 2000. Over 15 million women worldwide have opted for the Mirena long-term birth control method. The Mirena birth control device has been linked to numerous serious side effects and life-threatening complications. Plaintiffs in the ensuing lawsuits maintain they were not sufficiently warned about uterine perforation and the migration of the device. These are two of the most common complaints targeting Mirena during litigation.
The hormone levonorgestrel is the active ingredient in the Mirena contraceptive device. There has been speculation by some that levonorgestrel may pose a greater risk for ICH, however studies have not yet confirmed this theory.
With the new MDL that has been established for all Mirena brain injury claims, plaintiffs may be in a better position for a global settlement with Bayer HealthCare.
Have You Been Injured by a Mirena IUD Device?
If you or someone you know has sustained injury involving a Mirena IUD, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman personal injury law firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).