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Bayer Healthcare faces a yet another lawsuit over problems with Mirena birth control, alleging that a New York woman had to undergo surgery to remove the intrauterine device (IUD) after she discovered that the birth control implant had perforated her uterus more than two years after it was inserted.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Julie Cantor Miller and her husband, Jonathan Miller, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 21.
Mirena was introduced by Bayer Healthcare in 2000, as a long-acting form of birth control that is inserted into the uterus to disrupt the egg and sperm. It is designed to remain in place for up to five years.
While the IUD birth control has increased in popularity in recent years, an increasing number of women have experienced complications from Mirena where the small, T-shaped device perforated the uterine wall, migrated outside the uterus, caused infections or other problems. In many cases this results in the need for surgical removal of Mirena IUD and leaves the woman with permanent injuries.
Mirena Removal Lawsuit Allegations
Miller’s complaint is the latest in a growing number of Mirena IUD lawsuits filed by women throughout the United States, alleging that Bayer failed to provide adequate warnings for users or the medical community about the risk of “spontaneous” migration, which may occur long after the IUD is implanted.
According to allegations raised by Miller, she received a Mirena IUD implant in June 2009. Following the procedure to implant the device in her uterus, Miller indicates that neither she nor her doctor had any reason to suspect that the Mirena was not in its proper place. However, in April 2011, Miller’s doctor informed her that the Mirena had perforated her uterus.
As a result of the problems, Miller had to undergo laparoscopic surgery to retrieve the Mirena IUD, which had migrated outside of her uterus into her body cavity. Following surgical removal of Mirena, Miller indicates that has been left with severe and permanent injuries, and pain and suffering, resulting in a claim for compensatory and punitive damages against the manufacturer.
The lawsuit accuses Bayer of negligence, defective design, defective manufacturing, failure to warn, misrepresentation, failing to adequately test the Mirena IUD, breach of warranty, and fraud.
Mirena Litigation Mounting
Amid mounting litigation over the Mirena IUD birth control, a motion was filed last month with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), asking the federal court system to consolidate and centralize all Mirena lawsuits as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
A group of plaintiffs are asking the all cases filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the United States be centralized before one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings, reducing duplicative discovery, eliminating conflicting rulings from different judges and promoting judicial efficiency.
If the Mirena MDL is established, Miller’s case will be transferred into the consolidated proceedings. In addition, as Mirena injury lawyers continue to review and file additional cases in the federal court system, those lawsuits will also be transferred into the MDL, which could soon involve thousands of complaints brought by women throughout the United States.
The U.S. JPML is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the motion next month, at an upcoming hearing date scheduled in San Diego, California on March 21, 2013.