Mirena IUD Lawsuit
The personal injury lawyers of The Sanders Firm are currently evaluating potential legal claims of women who have suffered complications after using the popular Mirena birth control device. If you have experienced injuries as a result of a malfunctioning Mirena IUD—including perforation of the uterus resulting from the IUD becoming displaced after implantation—then you may be eligible to seek compensation by filing a Mirena IUD lawsuit.
The Mirena IUD is a form of long-term birth control manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. A small, flexible T-shaped intrauterine device, it purports to be a preferable form of contraception because it releases fewer hormones into the body than oral birth control pills, and is 99% effective for up to five years. Approved by the FDA in 2000, the Mirena is one of two hormonal IUDs currently available in the United States.
There are an estimated 150 million women implanted with the Mirena IUD around the world. In the United States, it accounted for around 10.4% of all contraceptives issued by doctors in 2011. While the IUD enjoyed robust sales after its launch in 2000, an increasing number of women have reported serious side effects such as perforation of the uterus, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and ectopic pregnancy.
Dozens of Mirena IUD product liability lawsuits have alleged severe injuries stemming from spontaneous migration of the device. Manufacturer Bayer is accused of failing to adequately warn the public of the IUD’s dangers.
Patients report debilitating Mirena side effects
Each Mirena lawsuit cites complications from the IUD including:
- IUD expulsion. Reported in around 6% of users, expulsion may go unnoticed, leaving the woman open to unwanted pregnancy. The risk of expulsion is greater in women who have never given birth.
- Ectopic pregnancy. Sometimes referred to as a ‘tubal pregnancy’, ectopic pregnancies occur when the egg becomes fertilized outside of the uterus. It is a life-threatening condition, and usually requires surgery to remove the zygote (fertilized egg), a procedure that can result in infertility.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease. When the Mirena IUD migrates out of position, it may cause a bacterial infection, resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Women with a history of PID should avoid using Mirena, or any other IUD.
- Device migration. This can lead to perforation of the uterus and requires corrective surgery.
The most dangerous side effect – uterine perforation – can result in chronic infections, internal adhesions and organ damage. Multiple surgeries may be required to correct the condition and fully remove all remnants of the device. The risk is greater in women who are implanted with the IUD immediately after giving birth. Bayer claims that uterine perforation is a rare occurrence, but a study published by the Department of Radiology at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has concluded that it is a “frequently encountered complication.”
FDA and Mirena IUD
To date, more than 45,000 adverse event reports relating to Mirena complications have been submitted to the FDA. In 2009, the FDA sent a warning letter to Bayer, accusing them of exaggerating the efficacy of Mirena while downplaying the risks. The letter also reprimanded Bayer for using misleading marketing practices in a “Busy Moms” ad campaign that suggested the Mirena IUD could stimulate intimacy and emotional satisfaction between couples. Some medical studies have shown the opposite to be true, with 5% of women reporting a decreased libido. These findings have been corroborated by Mirena lawsuits. The FDA stated that Bayer’s marketing materials failed to disclose the health risks linked to Mirena by omitting warnings to individuals previously diagnosed with urinary tract infections, PID and certain types of cancer.
Mirena litigation consolidated in New York
Mirena lawsuits filed throughout the country allege that Bayer failed to disclose the risk of spontaneous migration that may occur after the IUD is implanted. Plaintiffs charge the manufacturer with designing, marketing and distributing a dangerous and defective product. Plaintiffs also accuse Bayer of employing misleading marketing tactics, while concealing the IUD’s adverse side effects and misrepresenting its benefits. Approximately 50 lawsuits alleging uterine perforation, abcesses, infection, ectopic pregnancy, peritonitis, infertility and other complications have been filed at 17 different federal courts throughout the United States.
The number of claims involving the Mirena IUD is expected to grow significantly over the coming months as more women learn of the risk of complications. Federal Mirena lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of New York. Honorable Judge Cathy Seibel is overseeing the docket. Other cases that contain similar allegations involving Mirena IUD side effects will be added to the MDL over the coming months.
Bayer has consistently opposed coordinating cases into an MDL, arguing that their defense would be prejudiced by the increased media coverage. Bayer also argued that the publicity would encourage frivolous claimants to file a Mirena lawsuit. Women who believe they have been injured by the Mirena IUD are advised to seek legal advice as soon as possible to discuss their options for legal recourse.
Talk to a product liability lawyer
If you have suffered complications from the Mirena IUD, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and other losses. The Sanders Firm has more than 45 years of experience successfully representing clients in defective medical device lawsuits. We offer free case evaluations to discuss your potential claim. To schedule a confidential consultation, call our law offices toll-free: 1.800 FAIR PLAY (800.324.7752). Our team of legal experts has the knowledge and resources to fight for your rights and recover the compensation that you deserve.
- Drugs.com, Mirena http://www.drugs.com/pro/mirena.html
- FDA, Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) July 2008 http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/Safety-RelatedDrugLabelingChanges/ucm121936.htm
- Adverse Events, Drug Report: Mirena http://www.adverseevents.com/drugdetail.php?AEDrugID=3893&BrandName=MIRENA