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NuvaRing Lawsuit Time Barred By Just Two Weeks

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Trenton, NJThere is little doubt that concern over NuvaRing blood clots is justified, given the various studies that have suggested reasonable grounds to believe that third and fourth-generation contraceptives such as NuvaRing can potentially increase the risk of blood clot and deep vein thrombosis over older, second-generation contraceptives. Many a NuvaRing lawsuit has sought to prove that hypothesis in court.

However, any potential NuvaRing plaintiff would be well advised to consider the statute of limitations when considering legal action over a serious adverse reaction to NuvaRing birth control.

In a case summarized by Lawyers Weekly USA (8/6/12) a NuvaRing plaintiff was prescribed the product starting in September 2004. Just over a year later, in November 2005 she was hospitalized after suffering deep vein thrombosis. During her stay in hospital, the treating physicians confirmed to the would-be NuvaRing plaintiff that her blood clots were caused, primarily, by NuvaRing DVT, according to the report.

That observation appears to back up various studies that have pointed to such an increased risk. To wit, two studies appearing in the prestigious British Medical Journal in 2009 concluded that third and fourth-generation contraceptives such as the NuvaRing Contraceptive Ring (which is inserted into the vagina at the cervix) were associated with nearly twice the risk of blood clots—a finding echoed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which itself concluded that NuvaRing was associated with a higher risk of venous thromoembolism events (VTE) than comparable products containing lower levels of estrogen. The FDA characterized those increased risks as significant.

Hence, the NuvaRing dangers that landed the NuvaRing patient in hospital with blood clots resulted in the filing of a NuvaRing lawsuit that might have qualified for compensation, had the plaintiff not waited just a little too long to file.

The would-be plaintiff missed the boat by two weeks. She filed her lawsuit against the original manufacturer of NuvaRing, Organon USA (now owned by Merck) alleging NuvaRing side effects two years, and two weeks after her discharge from hospital. The plaintiff alleged the manufacturer of the NuvaRing contraceptive ring erred in not providing adequate warning of the NuvaRing dangers.

The defendant argued the plaintiff's failure-to-warn application was barred by the applicable two-year statute. The court agreed, disputing the plaintiff's position that she only learned about the link between her blood clots and NuvaRing after reading about NuvaRing litigation long after leaving hospital.

The court, however, found that the plaintiff knew about the NuvaRing DVT link while she was in hospital.

"In the case before us, the plaintiff was aware when she was discharged from the hospital that NuvaRing was the primary cause of the blood clot and embolism for which she had been hospitalized and treated. Her mother had contacted 'the company' about NuvaRing, and the plaintiff had notes on a document that indicated 'the company' was Organon USA, Inc. …," the court found.

"In short, the plaintiff had reasonable medical information that connected her injuries with the fault of the defendants. Consequently, she had the requisite knowledge for her cause of action to accrue," the court said. In sum, the plaintiff's difficulty was identified as NuvaRing blood clot, and thus the 'clock' started running upon her release from hospital.

The case was Millian v. Organon USA Case # A-4115-10T2, New Jersey Appellate Division.

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