Matthew J. McCauley, senior litigation counsel at Parker Waichman LLP, has been appointed co-lead counsel in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving injuries allegedly caused by Bayer’s Mirena IUD.
The federal MDL centralizes Mirena lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs allege that the Mirena intrauterine contraceptive device causes serious injuries, including uterine perforation. They are suing Bayer, the manufacturer, for failing to warn about the risks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Mirena IUD in 2000. The small t-shaped contraceptive device, which must be inserted in the uterus by a doctor, works by releasing a daily dose of the hormone progestin levonorgestrel. According to label information, it can be left in place for up to five years, but many Mirena users have discovered that the device does not remain in place in the uterus. In some women, it becomes embedded in the uterine wall; in others, it perforates the uterus and migrates elsewhere in the pelvis. Many Mirena users have needed surgery to retrieve and remove the device.
Other serious side effects associated with the Mirena IUD include intrauterine pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
A number of legal complaints allege that Bayer’s “Simple Style” marketing program significantly overstated Mirena’s benefits while downplaying its risks. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) warned the company about undocumented claims.
Parker Waichman has filed more than 50 Mirena lawsuits in New Jersey state court. Matthew McCauley also co-chairs the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Mirena IUD Litigation Group.