Bayer Pharmaceuticals is under fire in a range of Mirena lawsuits that allege that the company has created a defective product and hidden potential side effects. The accusers say that the IUD device is responsible for organ perforation, migration from the uterus, and other health issues.
Across the nation, thousands of women have sued Bayer Pharmaceuticals due to the damage they allege has been caused by the Mirena birth control. The allegations state that these Mirena complications have caused loss in medical bills, reduced quality of life, and a fear of further health issues.
The accusers allege that Bayer has sold a dangerous product and, through deceptive advertising, neglected to publish the complication risks. Already, Bayer Pharmaceuticals has offered to settle lawsuits worth up to $12.2 million.
At the moment, there are no class action lawsuits against Bayer Pharmaceuticals in the US, but there are three categories of common individual lawsuits in both New York and New Jersey. The only lawsuits Bayer has offered to settle, so far, are some perforation cases.
What is Mirena IUD?
Mirena is an IUD, or hormonal intrauterine device that is implanted into the uterus as a measure of long-term pregnancy prevention. This T-shaped device is slightly larger than a quarter and must be implanted surgically, after which is designed to stop sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg.
Mirena IUDs are plastic devices that stop the sperm by releasing a hormone called levonorgestrel. Out of the two million women that have used Mirena since it’s release in 2000, over 70,000 have made complaints about dangerous side effects that they allege they were not warned about and had no reason to suspect.
Ongoing Federal and Multicounty Lawsuits
Litigation is currently ongoing, with Bayer Pharmaceuticals having offered one settlement of $12.2 million in August 2017 publically, in order to settle the cases where organ perforation was alleged.
The settlement was estimated by the pharmaceutical company to include around 4,600 claims, but in order for the settlement to be accepted, 98% of all claimants must agree to it, which has not happened yet.
The settlement also does not cover the other large group of Mirena cases currently ongoing. The other group of cases in the Southern District of New York alleges the role of Mirena IUDs in pseudotumor cerebri injuries. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, there is multicounty litigation alleging that the Mirena devices are responsible for both organ perforation and migration.
Migration and Organ Perforation Cases
In two of the ongoing case groups, women have alleged that Mirena IUD perforated their organs, which is when the device pokes through the surface of an organ, the uterus in this case. The allegations state that Bayer Pharmaceutical never published any warnings that Mirena IUDs could perforate organs, either during or after implantation.
In New Jersey, one of the case groups also alleges that the Mirena IUD has migrated outside the uterus, which has also led to perforation or organ damage, or the risk of such. Some of the women who have made these allegations against Bayer Pharmaceuticals have had to go through surgery to remove the Mirena IUD and to correct complications.
Pseudotumor Cerebri Injury Cases
The second category of Mirena lawsuits came when women began to allege that their Mirena IUDs were the cause of pseudotumor cerebri, or false brain tumors. The claimants allege that the IUD caused this issue due to the hormone levonorgestrel that is inside it. They claim that this hormone has played a role in elevating the spinal fluid in the skull beyond normal levels, which then caused the false brain tumors to appear.
Bayer Pharmaceuticals has been accused of misleading the users of the Mirena IUDs and how safe they are, specifically by failing to explain how the hormone levonorgestrel works. The case alleges that the hormone is significantly more likely to cause side effects than others typically used in IUDs, and that women who have used other levonorgestrel products have also been more likely to experience pseudotumor cerebri.
As last reported in April 2019, there were 917 lawsuits pending related to this issue. Discovery is ongoing after the defendants gathered to further explore the medical and scientific evidence surrounding the Mirena IUD.
There were 917 lawsuits pending in this MDL as of April 2019. In April 2018, plaintiffs and defendants gathered to go over the medical and scientific issues surrounding Mirena, according to the court docket. Discovery is ongoing.
Why Mirena IUD Cases Are Being Filed
The women who have joined the three case groups in New York and New Jersey allege that Bayer Pharmaceuticals knowingly harmed them by failing to inform them of dangerous side effects. As such, they seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and damages for their pain and suffering. The women allege that they have lost some of the enjoyment of life and some have a future of high risk pregnancies, infertility, and lifelong treatment as a result of complications.
The cases further state that Bayer knowingly misrepresented the Mirena’s risks as being uncommon, and of covering up the potential complications, including using deceptive marketing that alleged that the IUD was safe and convenient.
The latest in the Mirena Class Action Lawsuits
Discovery is ongoing in the cases of the Mirena IUD being alleged to have caused pseudotumor cerebri. In New York, the consolidated Mirena cases were brought before Judge Paul A. Engelmeyer who heard arguments from both sides. In his ruling, Judge Engelmayer excluded testimony from the plaintiffs’ experts, however, stating that he believed there wasn’t enough scientific evidence to support the allegations made against Bayer Pharmaceuticals. On October 24, 2018, he ruled against all allegations against Bayer Pharmaceuticals, but the plaintiffs’ attorneys are working to appeal the decision.