July 29, 2016 — A federal judge in New York has dismissed all 1,225 federal Mirena lawsuits after blocking expert testimony and ruling that a jury cannot make a decision on its own.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel said a “lay-person” does not have the common sense to decide whether Mirena causes post-insertion uterine perforations without hearing expert testimony.
In March, Judge Seibel blocked testimony from all four plaintiffs’ experts after finding them “unqualified or unreliable,” but allowed testimony from all seven of Bayer’s experts.
In an order (PDF) issued July 28, she wrote:
“The court reaches this conclusion reluctantly, knowing that it will doom hundreds of cases, but in the court’s view it is compelled by the law.”
The decision effectively wipes out all lawsuits pending against Bayer in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2434) in New York.
Bayer still faces another 1,800 Mirena lawsuits in a mass-tort in New Jersey. Lawsuits have also been filed by women who say Mirena causes severe brain injuries.
Mirena is a T-shaped plastic contraceptive that is inserted in the uterus. Bayer warns that uterine perforations can occur during the insertion procedure, but denies they can occur at other times.
Approximately 3,000 woman disagree — and they have filed lawsuits with medical records to back up their claims. Some women had normal check-ups and no symptoms for years until suddenly experiencing pain and bleeding. In other cases, women who noticed missing threads had X-rays that discovered Mirena in their abdomen.