Women Sue Over Pulmonary Emboli Caused by NuvaRing

A 27-year-old Iowa woman has sued Organon USA, alleging that their vaginal contraceptive NuvaRing caused her to have a pulmonary embolism.

NuvaRing is a once-a-month vaginal ring contraceptive produced by Organon Pharmaceuticals and Merck, which was marketed as containing lower amounts of hormones. However, the Patient Drug Information from Merck indicates the device works by releasing hormones directly into the bloodstream.

Sherri from Iowa first began using NuvaRing in early 2011. On March 30, 2011, at the age of 26, she had shortness of breath and chest pain and was admitted to a hospital. A CT scan of her chest revealed that she was suffering from a pulmonary embolism.  The lawsuit alleged that Organon knew, or should have known that use of its products carries a risk of venous thromboembolism, including deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, as well as death.  Despite this knowledge, Organon failed to warn of these serious risks before the victim began using NuvaRing, the lawsuit stated.

Earlier this week, we reported about the inherent risks associated with birth control pills containing drospirenone in Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella. The NuvaRing contraceptive carries increased risks for blood clots, as well. The first trial for a NuvaRing blood clot lawsuit in the federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) has been delayed until the summer of 2013.

The Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits against Bayer and the NuvaRing lawsuit are similar in that they both stem from blood clot related injuries, which have caused serious medical problems for many women. However, the defendants in the two cases have not handled their response in the same manner. Bayer (Yaz and Yasmin) is attempting to settle as many of these lawsuits as possible to be finished with this issue. The maker of NuvaRing, Schering Plough, has taken a different approach. They have been stalling going to trial, but these delays will end soon, as trial dates have been set for the first NuvaRing lawsuits.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) has reported in its 2012 Statistical Analysis that 1,028 NuvaRing lawsuit cases were transferred to a Federal Multidistrict Litigation court in Eastern Missouri.  It was announced that NuvaRing lawsuit trials would begin on May 6, 2013. This will set a precedent for other cases and settlements for future victims.

A number of lawsuits have been filed in New Jersey state court. Merck has its corporate headquarters based in New Jersey, with nearly 200 cases pending. The first New Jersey NuvaRing bellwether trial is expected to begin on February 4, 2013. (The trial set in the federal MDL and New Jersey state court litigation are referred to as “bellwether” trials. These trials are to help the parties determine how juries are likely to respond to the similar evidence that will be presented through the litigation.

Vaginal rings, like NuvaRing, have been linked to increased risks of blood clots. The FDA has received more than 1,000 reports of blood clot injury or death in patients using NuvaRing, according to an article in CBS News San Diego on September 21, 2012.

The British Medical Journal published a study on May 10, 2012 linking vaginal rings like NuvaRing to as much as a 90 percent increased risk of blood clots over oral contraceptives. On June 14, 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine also published a study finding vaginal ring contraceptives could relate to a 2.5 to 3-fold increased risk of blood clots.

If you or a loved one suffered a blood clot, deep vein thrombosis, stroke or pulmonary embolism after using NuvaRing, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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