Thousands of women use a form of birth control to avoid, or at least try to avoid, getting pregnant from intercourse. The birth control pill (and other oral contraceptives), the birth control shot (Depo-Provera), the birth control patch, the vaginal ring and IUD’s (intrauterine device) are examples of hormonal family planning options available to women. Of the many options available, one of the most common yet potentially most dangerous is the Mirena IUD, a product manufactured and sold by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals is a giant in the pharmaceutical market. It is a division of Bayer Healthcare AG, and is one of the largest multinational corporations focusing on medical products and drugs.
What is the Mirena IUD
The Mirena IUD is a plastic, t-shaped device which is inserted up through a woman’s vagina (usually performed in the GYN’s office) where it is supposed to sit dormant in the uterus until the woman decides she wants it removed. The Mirena IUD was approved in 2000 as a contraceptive in the U.S. Before its approval in America, the device had been used by thousands of women in Europe. Unfortunately, many medical problems, serious medical problems, have been associated and linked to the Mirena. Abscesses, embedment in the uterine wall, uterine perforations, infection and ectopic pregnancies occur when the device migrates from the uterus, where it was originally implanted into other areas of the female body. Oftentimes the only available remedy is to have the Mirena surgically removed in a hospital where a woman goes under general anesthesia to have it removed. Laparoscopic surgery is sadly used.
Despite the potential for these side effects the Mirena IUD is still being offered by many respected GYNs. In addition, notwithstanding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is believed to have received thousands of complaints of the Mirena side effects, Bayer is yet to revise its product labeling to include the risk for device migration and perforation of the uterine lining as of this date of this article. Moreover, amazingly, the FDA is yet to issue a Class I recall of the product.
The First Mirena IUD Lawsuit Filings
The first lawsuit that we are aware of was filed on April 12, 2012, on behalf of an Ohio woman. In her claim, she alleges that she was forced to undergo a hysteroscopy to remove the Mirena IUD. Soon thereafter, on December 4, 2012, a Florida woman filed a case when she allegedl that the Mirena IUD migrated from its original point of insertion in her uterus, which it later perforated, and that she needed revision surgery to remove the contraceptive.
Mirena IUD Lawsuits Consolidated in New York Federal District Court MDL
Mirena lawsuits are going to be filed primarily in New York Federal Court as part of a Multi District Litigation (MDL). On April 8th, 2013, federally-filed Mirena lawsuits were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. According to the Order issued on that date by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), this location would be most convenient since the manufacturer of the birth control device is based in New York, and has corporate affiliates in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Pretrial proceedings for these cases will be overseen by Judge Cathy Seibel. (In re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2434). One of the chief complaints against Bayer Pharmaceuticals will be that they failed to warn of the potential for the Mirena IUD to migrate outside the uterus and perforate organs.
The decision to establish a multidistrict litigation (MDL) was reached after plaintiffs petitioned to centralize federal cases in the Northern District of Ohio on Jan. 16, and also after Bayer requested that the New Jersey Supreme Court consolidate all future lawsuits be consolidated into a multicounty litigation in Superior Court, Middlesex County, NJ. Both of these requests were later denied and then New York was picked.
Some cases may also be filed in New Jersey as a consolidated litigation has also been established in Bergen County Superior Court (In Re: Mirena Litigation; Case No. 297)
If you have the Mirena IUD, the first thing you may want to consider is making an appointment with your GYN to get an ultrasound and if necessary a x-ray to see if the Mirena implant has migrated. Not every woman who has it will be injured by it, but if you are worried or have questions speak with your doctor. If you have been injured and you have questions, feel free to contact us.