June 13, 2013 — More than 100 women have come forward to file a Mirena lawsuit, and a number of litigations have been established to centralize legal proceedings. In April, a federal panel of judges created a Multi-District Litigation (MDL). In May, judges in New Jersey decided to centralize all lawsuits in a Multi-County Litigation (MCL). Lawyers expect that thousands of lawsuits will be filed against Bayer in state and federal courts around the nation by women suffering from complications of a Mirena IUD.
The majority of the litigation will be centralized in the Mirena MDL, known formally as In Re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2434 and established in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Honorary Cathy Seibel has been assigned to oversee the proceedings. The establishment of an MDL is an important development, because it will allow lawsuits filed in many states to be transferred into one federal litigation. Court records indicate that at least 50 Mirena lawsuits have been filed.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has also consolidated state court litigation under one judge for coordinated pre-trial proceedings. The litigation was established in Bergen County before Superior Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti. Court records indicate that 19 lawsuits have been transferred into the litigation, but plaintiffs claim there are more than 60 lawsuits total in the state.
All of the lawsuits center on the issue of whether Bayer adequately warned women about the risk of “spontaneous” migration of the device, which can cause uterine perforation, organ damage, infections, and other problems that may require surgery. Although the label on Mirena does warn about the potential risk of perforation during insertion of the IUD, lawsuits allege that Bayer failed to warn that it can perforate the uterus months or even years after implantation.