Parker Waichman Seeks Centralized Management of Multicounty Mirena® IUD Lawsuit Litigation

pw-seeks-centralized-multicounty-litigationMirena® lawsuits allege that the intrauterine device (IUD) is inherently defective, creates an unreasonable risk of injury to women, and that Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with the Mirena® IUD.

In response to the growing number of Mirena® IUD lawsuits, national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, has submitted an application with the New Jersey Supreme Court that requests reconsideration for centralized management of multicounty litigation for Mirena® IUD lawsuits. According to the application, centralization of the Mirena® IUD cases is warranted due to the large number of parties that are widely dispersed and involve common questions of fact.

Parker Waichman has filed 50 of the 60 Mirena IUD lawsuits pending in the Superior Courts of New Jersey. The law firm’s application was dated March 6, 2013 and was submitted to the Honorable Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D. by Senior Litigation Counsel Matthew J. McCauley and attorney Jessica Vertullo, both of Parker Waichman LLP.

Parker Waichman Senior Litigation Counsel, Matthew J. McCauley, also co-chairs the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Mirena® IUD Litigation Group, which is actively involved in exchanging educational materials and medical literature in order to best represent victims.

The application states that, on January 2, 2013, the court denied Bayer’s application to centralize Mirena® IUD lawsuits into a multicounty litigation. Parker Waichman LLP requested that the court reconsider this decision as there are now more than 60 lawsuits alleging injuries from the Mirena® contraceptive device. The application noted that both parties for the defendants and plaintiffs are in support of this motion and states that centralization will allow litigation to move forward with greater efficiency.

The application also states that centralization of all Mirena® cases and designation as a multicounty litigation is warranted for several reasons: that the Mirena® litigation involves a large number of parties who are widely dispersed across the state and country (Parker Waichman LLP represents plaintiffs in at least 23 states); the Mirena® cases involve common questions of fact associated with the product; the lawsuits share similar allegations and alleged injuries (i.e., uterine perforation and device embedment); and the firm expects that numerous additional and similar lawsuits over the Mirena® IUD will be filed.

Bayer’s Mirena® IUD, a small, t-shaped plastic device attached to two strings, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. The hormonal IUD releases levonorgestrel when placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy; Mirena® is both inserted and removed by a healthcare professional and may be left in the uterus for up to five years. According to the agency, the most serious side effects associated with the Mirena® IUD include:

  • Perforation of the uterine wall
  • Embedment of the device in the uterine wall
  • Intrauterine pregnancy
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Group A streptococcal sepsis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

In 2009, Bayer was reprimanded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC) for overstating the benefits—and neglecting to mention the risks—of Mirena® in the company’s “Simple Style” program.

Parker Waichman LLP’s application is entitled Re: Application Pursuant to R. 4:38A (“Centralized Management of Multicounty Litigation”) Joint Request for Reconsideration of Designation of Mirena® litigation as a Multicounty Litigation for Centralized Management.

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