The nine lawsuits allege Mirena, an intrauterine contraceptive device, is linked to an increased risk of neurological conditions. Specifically, the lawsuits allege Mirena is linked to an increased risk of pseudotumor cerbri because of the exposure to levonorgestrel in Mirena.
According to the Mayo Clinic, pseudotumor cerebri, sometimes called idiopathic intracranial hypertension, involves an abnormal elevation of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull, causing increased pressure in the patient’s skull. The condition has been linked to headaches, swelling of the optic nerve and vision loss.
The plaintiffs requested that the nine suits be centralized because they have similar claims and facts.
The panel, however, ruled that because there are only nine suits, because they were filed by the same plaintiffs’ counsel, and because they all name the same defendant, there is no need to centralize the suits. Instead, the panel said, overlapping discovery can be shared.
“Although plaintiffs assert that the number of actions is likely to expand substantially, the mere possibility of additional actions does not convince us that centralization is warranted,” the panel wrote. The panel also noted that the Mirena uterine perforation and migration consolidation involved many more lawsuits filed in a variety of districts when it was consolidated. Finally, the panel noted that the neurological symptoms allegedly linked to Mirena are nonspecific, which can result in the defendants undertaking an inquiry as to each plaintiff being properly diagnosed.
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Mirena lawsuits alleging uterine perforation and migration have been consolidated for multidistrict litigation. Those lawsuits accuse Bayer, maker of Mirena, of selling an unsafe, defective device.
The pseudotumor cerbri consolidation case is In Re: Mirena IUS Levonorgestrel-Related Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2559.