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A Tennessee woman says that she was diagnosed with papilledema due to side effects of a Mirena IUD, after the birth control implant caused an increase of fluid pressure around her brain, damaging her optic nerve.
Sara Sutphin filed the complaint (PDF) on December 10, naming Bayer Healthcare as a defendant. The lawsuit indicates that the birth control implant caused a condition known as pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertenstion (IIH), which led to the papilledema diagnosis.
The Mirena IUD is an intrauterine device, which Sutphin indicates was implaned in her body in September 2011, as a form of long-acting birth control. However, the 30 year old later began to experience severe headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and floaters in her vision, which she says was due to Mirena side effects.
The lawsuit indicates that Sutphin had the Mirena removed in June 2012, but in August 2013 she was diagnosed with IIH/PTC, and a month later, with papilledema.
According to allegations raised in the complaint, Mirena should never have been put on the market, or should have carried significantly stronger safety warnings.
“Defendants’ Mirena was not merchantable and reasonably suited to the uses for which it is intended, including the uses for which it was prescribed to the Plaintiff, and its condition, when sold to the Plaintiff, proximately caused her injuries,” Sutphin’s lawsuit indicates. “Mirena was also defective due to inadequate warnings or instructions because the manufacturer knew or should have known that Mirena created, among other things, a risk of developing IH/PTC, and the Defendants failed to adequately warn of these risks.”
Sutphin’s complaint joins a growing number of similar Mirena lawsuits filed nationwide by women who suffered papilledema from IIH/PTC, resulting in vision loss and other injuries.
Given similar questions of fact and law raised in lawsuits file by women throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established coordinated pretrial proceedings in April 2017, centralizing all cases involving pseudotumor cerebri or intracranial hypertension complications from Mirena IUDs before one judge in the Southern District of New York.
There are currently more than 200 complaints pending before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Englemayer as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. However, as Mirena injury lawyers continue to review and file claims for women nationwide, it is expected that the size and scope of the litigation will continue to grow over the coming weeks and months.