Lawsuits alleging the Mirena IUD caused young women to suffer serious injuries, including uterine perforations, are continuing to mount in New Jersey state court and elsewhere. Even Bayer Healthcare, the maker of the Mirena IUD, is anticipating that the litigation will grow larger, and has requested that New Jersey lawsuits be centralization in Superior Court in Middlesex County.
According to a report from Law360.com, Bayer filed an application with the state Administrative Office of the Courts on August 9 seeking the centralization. According to the application, 16 Mirena lawsuits involving 24 plaintiffs have been filed in Morris County, where Bayer Healthcare’s offices are located. However, there is no Mass Tort Center in Morris County.
“Defendants are requesting centralized management in order to help conserve judicial resources, avoid the risks of duplicative discovery and avoid the risks of inconsistent rulings,” the application said.
In addition to the New Jersey lawsuits, Mirena is also named in seven other lawsuits filed in various federal jurisdictions, said Law360.com.
The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP is representing many of the plaintiffs in the New Jersey Mirena litigation, and filed three such claims this summer alone. All of the lawsuits allege the Mirena IUD caused users to suffer severe and permanent physical injuries and substantial pain and suffering. The complaints further allege that Bayer and other Defendants have a history of overstating the benefits of the Mirena IUD, and understating its potential complications. According to a statement issued by the firm, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration says that Mirena has been associated with a number of serious side effects, including:
- Perforation of the uterine wall or cervix
- Embedment of the device in the uterine wall
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Intrauterine pregnancy (a pregnancy with Mirena in place)
- Group A streptococcal sepsis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
In 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC) found that claims made via Bayer’s “Simple Style Program” which marketed Mirena to “busy moms,” were unsubstantiated, noting that the program failed to mention side effects such as weight gain, acne and breast tenderness.
The Mirena IUD is inserted into the uterus within seven days of the first day of menstruation, where it releases the synthetic progestin, levonorgestrel, directly into the uterus, where it may remain for five years. The devices is currently used by 2 million women in the U.S. Globally, more than 15 million women have used Mirena.