Contact A Lawyer
Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney
According to allegations in a recent lawsuit brought against Bayer Healthcare, side effects from a Mirena IUD caused a woman to suffer a swollen optic nerve, headaches, blurred vision and other complications associated with a build up of fluid pressure on the brain.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Misty McCandless in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on March 30, alleging that the birth control implant caused her to suffer from a condition known as pseudotumor cerebri, which is also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH).
McCandless received a Mirena IUD in April 2009, according to the lawsuit. The small T-shaped device is implanted into the uterus, releasing the progestin levonorgestrel to provide long-term birth control for up to five years.
In March 2014, McCandless indicates that she began to suffer cluster headaches, blurred vision, nausea, dizziness, and transient visual obscurations when she bent over. After seeking medical treatment, she was diagnosed with papilledema, or bilateral optic nerve head swelling. An MRI and diagnostic lumbar puncture later confirmed that she was suffering from pseudotumor cerebri complications from Mirena, which was removed in June 2014.
The case is one of a growing number of Mirena IUD lawsuits filed over pseudotumor cerebri, which each allege that Bayer failed to adequately warn about the risk that levonorgestrel released by the implant may cause the sudden buildup of pressure on the brain.
In several other places around the world, including South Africa and Hong Kong, warning labels include information about the risk that papilledema as a possible side effect of Mirena. However, Bayer has not given women in America or the U.S. medical community the same information about the potential link between Mirena and pseudotumor cerebri.
Amid a growing number of Mirena pseudotumor cerebri cases brought throughout the federal court system against Bayer, a request was filed last year with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to centralize the cases before one judge. However, that request was rejected, so McCandless’s claim and others filed by other women are proceeding without coordinated pretrial proceedings.
In addition to problems with pseudotumor cererbri, Mirena has also been linked to reports of the IUD perforating the uterus or moving out of position, causing severe internal injuries for many women.
There is a separate multidistrict litigation (MDL) established for Mirena migration injury lawsuits, which currently includes about 4,000 complaints pending before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel in the Southern District of New York, where a small group of “bellwether” cases are being prepared for early trial dates.