The Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) is a form of birth control used by about two million women in the United States. Typically, a healthcare provider places the IUD into the woman's uterus during an office visit. Mirena then disseminates the hormone levonorgestrel into the uterus, preventing pregnancy through the following reactions:
Mirena may be used as birth control for up to five years or as treatment for women who experience heavy periods. While Mirena has been a popular birth control option among women, the device has been the subject of a number of lawsuits.
Health Problems Associated with Mirena
Numerous women have complained to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about serious health issues they experienced with the Mirena IUD. The reported complications include:
As a result of these complications, scores of women have filed Mirena lawsuits against Bayer, the device's maker. Many of the lawsuits have been combined into a multidistrict litigation matter. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York is managing this matter during the pretrial proceedings and discovery.
These matters are not class actions. Instead, each Mirena lawsuit will be heard as an individual case once the pretrial proceedings are complete. In addition to the multidistrict litigation, a number of Mirena lawsuits have been filed in state courts across the country.
Most Mirena lawsuits are based on the theory of product liability. Under product liability law, manufacturers and sellers of medical devices have a duty to ensure their products are safe for patients. If a manufacturer or seller breaches this duty, it can be held liable for any injuries that result from its defective medical device.
A faulty product may feature a design defect, manufacturing defect, or a defective warning. In many of the Mirena lawsuits, plaintiffs have alleged that Mirena has a dangerous design defect, meaning a flaw in the product's design allegedly caused the plaintiffs to suffer adverse health consequences.
In addition, manufacturers and sellers have a duty to disseminate adequate warnings about the risks associated with their products. In the Mirena lawsuits, plaintiffs have claimed that Bayer failed to inform patients about the risks associated with Mirena. If the court decides in favor of the plaintiffs, patients could be awarded damages for any lost earnings, medical expenses, and pain and suffering that resulted from their injuries.
The manufacturer of Mirena isn't the only entity that may be liable for injuries related to the device. Healthcare providers, such as physicians, are required to provide patients with a professional level of medical care. When healthcare providers breach this duty, they may be liable for medical malpractice. For example, a doctor may be liable if he or she inserted the IUD improperly or failed to disclose the risks and complications related to Mirena.
Get Help with Your Mirena Lawsuit from an Experienced Lawyer
If you've experienced health issues related to your IUD, the first step is to find out the type of IUD you have. If you discover you have a Mirena IUD, you may want to consider having an experienced products liability lawyer to learn more about your legal options. You shouldn't delay, because a law called a statute of limitations generally restricts your time for taking legal action.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.