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Mirena IUD Injury Settlement May Be Reached During Appeal of Migration, Perforation Cases

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It appears that an agreement may soon be announced that will settle all pending Mirena IUD lawsuits involving migration and perforation injuries associated with the birth control implant.

Hundreds of women have filed product liability lawsuits in recent years, indicating that they suffered painful and debilitating injuries when the T-shaped intrauterine device (IUD) moved out of position or perforated their uterine wall. Plaintiffs allege that Bayer failed to adequately warn about the risk of spontaneous migration, which may occur long after the implant is placed for long-term birth control.

Following several years of litigation, the U.S. District Judge presiding over all cases granted Bayer’s motion for summary judgment in July 2016, after excluding the testimony of several expert witnesses for the plaintiff.

While the trial judge determined that plaintiffs were unable to establish for a jury that their Mirena IUD injuries occurred due to spontaneous migration and perforation, as opposed to a problem during the initial implanting procedure, plaintiffs pursued an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In a joint motion (PDF) filed before oral arguments were heard this week, the parties indicate that a confidential “Memorandum of Understanding” has been reached to resolve all Mirena IUD cases involving secondary perforation injuries.

Details of the Mirena IUD settlement have not been disclosed, but the parties indicate that the agreement will resolve all cases pending in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), as well as all state court cases pending in New Jersey, Missouri and California, where centralized pretrial proceedings have been established. The agreement may provide financial compensation to thousands of women who previously had their cases dismissed.

Mirena PTC/IIH Lawsuits

The agreement comes as Bayer faces a new round of litigation over Mirena IUD injuries, as a growing number of pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) injury lawsuits continue to be filed in recent months involving allegations that women experienced a dangerous buildup of fluid pressure around the brain after receiving the birth control implant. This can result in severe headaches, vision loss and permanent damage to the optic nerve.

In late April 2017, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established new coordinated pretrial proceedings for these cases, centralizing them before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Englemayer in the Southern District of New York as part of a separate MDL.

As Mirena lawyers continue to review and file PTC cases for women nationwide, it is expected that the size and scope of this new litigation will continue to grow over the coming weeks and months.

It is expected that Judge Englemayer will establish a bellwether program as part of the coordinated proceedings, where a small group of cases will be prepared for early trial dates to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.

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