October 2, 2015 — U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel has randomly selected five cases for a second round of trials in the Mirena litigation.
The first round of trials is expected to begin in March 2016.
The so-called “bellwether” trials are used to help determine how a jury will respond to testimony and evidence. The outcome of each trial can help resolve other cases involving similar injuries and allegations.
As of September 15, Bayer HealthCare was facing 1,143 lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where the cases have been centralized at the federal level since 2013.
Another 2,000 cases are pending in a multi-county litigation (MDL) in New Jersey state court.
One lawsuit (Case 2:15-cv-03874) was filed in New Jersey by Chelsea Dawn McClune. Mirena was implanted in her body in February 2013. Four months later, she experienced severe abdominal pain and went to the hospital. Doctors discovered that Mirena had perforated her uterus and had become embedded near her fallopian tubes. She required emergency abdominal surgery the next day.
Mirena is a T-shaped intrauterine device (IUD) that prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years by releasing hormones directly into a woman’s uterus. Unfortunately, women say it can perforate the uterus, migrate, and require surgical removal.
Bayer is accused of downplaying these risks, even as hundreds of women came forward to report spontaneous uterine perforations.
Because the label only describes the risk of uterine perforation during insertion, many victims who experienced spontaneous perforations were misdiagnosed for years because doctors assumed Mirena had simply fallen out.