January 12, 2017 — With more than 100 Mirena brain injury lawsuits scattered nationwide, lawyers are again asking federal judges to centralize the lawsuits into one court.
This is the second time lawyers have tried to centralize the lawsuits into one court. The last time was in May 2014, when there were only 9 lawsuits. Judges refused because there were too few cases.
There are now at least 116 lawsuits pending in 17 separate district courts nationwide, and lawyers anticipate “many more” in the future.
On December 29, 2016, another motion (PDF) was filed to centralize the lawsuits in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL). Instead of Tennessee, this time lawyers requested the Southern District of Mississippi.
The MDL would be separate from another one in New York involving uterine perforations — (MDL No. 2434) — where over 1,750 lawsuits were recently dismissed after the judge rejected expert testimony.
Lawyers may also have trouble finding experts to back up claims that Mirena causes brain injuries — specifically, Intracranial Hypertension (IH) or Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC).
These painful injuries are caused by excess fluid in the skull putting pressure on the brain and eyes. The most common symptom — migraine headaches — is also a common side effects of Mirena. Headaches were reported by 16% of women during clinical trials.
Other symptoms of IH and PTC include vision loss, double-vision, ringing in the ears, neck pain, nausea, dizziness, and blindness.
While a study published in 2015 found higher rates of IH and PTC in an FDA database of Mirena side effect reports, Bayer’s experts have already called the study “erroneous and misleading.” The label on Mirena does not warn about PTC or IH.
In 1995, 56 cases of IH were associated with the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD Norplant in a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers noted that headaches were a commonly-reported side effect of levonorgestrel. However, few studies have investigated the risks of IH and PTC.