| May 6, 2013 |
On April 16, Kansas resident Jessica Caruthers filed a Mirena IUD lawsuit against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, alleging severe injuries. The plaintiff claims that Bayer designed, manufactured and marketed a defective product and failed to warn about its latent dangers. Her Mirena lawyer filed the case in the U.S. District Court of Kansas (Wichita), and also names as defendant Berlex Laboratories, Inc.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000, the intrauterine device is used as a primary form of birth control by more than 15 million women throughout the world. Since its market launch, however, the IUD has been linked to severe complications, most of which stem from device migration. The 27-year old Kansas plaintiff is suing Bayer and Berlex Labs for debilitating injuries after the Mirena IUD migrated from its original position and punctured through her abdominal cavity. According to court documents, Caruthers sustained significant medical expenses as her physicians had to surgically remove the IUD.
Plaintiff argues Bayer failed to warn about Mirena side effects
As detailed in her Mirena IUD lawsuit, Caruthers was implanted with the device by her physician in January 2007. She tolerated the procedure well, and neither she nor her doctor had reason to suspect she would experience future complications. In October 2011, the plaintiff returned to the hospital for surgical removal of the device after it migrated, perforated her uterus, and then punctured through her abdominal cavity. Such horrific complications are commonly cited in other Mirena lawsuits against Bayer, prompting hundreds of women to label the IUD as both “defective and unreasonably dangerous.”
The Kansas plaintiff says that due to her significant pain and suffering and debilitating injuries, she has lost wages and potential earning capacity. She further claims that her injuries are physical, emotional, and economic, and seeks to hold Bayer liable for her losses. Her attorney levels several counts against the defendants including product liability – defective design, failure to warn, manufacturing defect, negligence, and breach of implied and express warranties.
Caruthers’ allegations mirror those of at least 40 other women who have also filed a Mirena IUD lawsuit in court rooms across the nation. They all contend that Bayer acted in a deceitful and fraudulent manner and despite evidence as to the IUD’s defective characteristics, continued to market their product without adequate warnings concerning risks.
Mirena side effects and complications alleged in claims against Bayer include:
- Adhesions and internal scarring
- Embedment in the uterine wall
- Uterine perforation
- Bowel and intestinal perforation
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Need for surgical removal
Federal lawsuits coordinated as multidistrict litigation
In an effort to economize pre-trial processes, all Mirena IUD lawsuits brought in the federal court system have been centralized in multidistrict litigation. The products liability MDL No. 2434 has been assigned to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which is close to the defendant’s corporate headquarters. The judicial panel established the MDL on April 8, 2013, in order to “promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.” Cases such as Caruthers may be transferred to the MDL as a potential tag-along action, as the docket contains lawsuits involving common issues of fact and allegations, mostly resulting from device migration.