Couple Bayer’s massive Mirena advertising campaign and the number of things that can go wrong with its device and no wonder claims are skyrocketing. Mirena attorney Dr. Shezad Malik says that the estimated incidence of Mirena birth control side effects is 1 in 1000, which is very high. (In 1995, an estimated .08 percent of American women were using IUDs, but by 2010, that number had increased seven times to 5.6 percent, according to an October 18, 2012 study by the Guttmacher Institute, and reported in the National Survey of Family Growth.)
By early May 2013, dozens of Mirena IUD lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts, alleging Mirena caused serious injuries. The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred all federally filed Mirena IUD lawsuits (about 50) to US District Court, Southern District of New York for pretrial proceedings, according to a recent transfer order (In Re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2434). As well, more than 100 Mirena claims are pending in New Jersey Superior Courts, and the New Jersey Supreme Court is considering a proposal to consolidate them before a single judge in Bergen County Superior Court. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation indicated that 46 cases have been transferred into a special Mirena MDL.
Last year, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided to deny centralization of all cases before one judge as part of a multi-county litigation (MCL). Due to a steady increase in Mirena lawsuits, however, the state’s Supreme Court has been asked to reconsider its decision to deny centralization of the cases. On March 21, the federal court heard oral arguments regarding consolidation of the Mirena cases.
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A report published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG) showed the outcomes of first-trimester pregnancies with intrauterine devices (IUDs). The report concluded that “more than half of IUDs identified in the first trimester were malpositioned.” A more recent study (“Removal of an Intraabdominal Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine Device,” March 4, 2013) in the AJOG highlights the danger for women who must undergo surgery to remove an IUD such as Mirena after the devices dislodge and perforate into the abdominal cavity.