March 20, 2013 — The first federal NuvaRing lawsuit trials have been postponed until October 21, 2013. The reason for the delay is unclear, but it allows plaintiffs more time to file a NuvaRing lawsuit.
The manufacturers of NuvaRing, Merck & Co. and Organon Pharmaceuticals, also have more time to negotiate a potential settlement. The first NuvaRing trial in state court is scheduled to begin in May 2013, and decisions in that case could help expedite a settlement for nearly 1,300 plaintiffs throughout the United States.
Judge Rodney W. Sippel filed the order to delay the trial on March 8. Judge Sippel oversees nearly 1,100 NuvaRing lawsuits that have been centralized in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Mississippi. An additional 200 NuvaRing lawsuits have been centralized in state court in New Jersey.
The first bellwether trials are highly anticipated. These “representative” cases are selected to go first in a large litigation because they involve legal questions in common with many other cases. The jury’s decisions can help gauge the value of a potential settlement.
Although the bellwether trials in federal court will not begin until October, the first bellwether trial in state court is moving along as planned. All of the lawsuits allege that Merck and Organon failed to warn about the risk of life-threatening complications associated with NuvaRing.
NuvaRing is a type of birth control that releases hormones from a round, flexible ring that a woman inserts in her vagina. Unfortunate, NuvaRing contains a hormone called etonogestrel, which has been linked to blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), stroke, and even death.