January 31, 2013 — The first NuvaRing lawsuit to go before a jury has been scheduled for trial on May 6, 2013. The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by Erika Medina in New Jersey Superior Court (Bergen County) before Judge Brian R. Martinotti.
There are currently 199 NuvaRing lawsuits centralized in that state court litigation, with another 1,000 NuvaRing lawsuits pending in a centralized federal litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The federal trials are scheduled to begin July 2013.
All of the lawsuits in the NuvaRing litigation involve allegations that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn women about the increased risk of blood clots. These life-threatening risks may be significantly higher for NuvaRing than for other contraceptives that are equally effective at preventing pregnancy.
Ms. Medina’s NuvaRing lawsuit will be the first of nine “bellwether” trials to go forward in New Jersey. Bellwether trials are selected because they involve allegations, injuries, and legal matters that are common among many other lawsuits in the litigation. Decisions in the bellwether trials are crucial for weighing the value of a potential settlement.
In the last year, studies have linked NuvaRing to a significantly higher risk of blood clots and stroke. In May 2012, a study published in the British Medical Journal compared NuvaRing to many other contraceptives, and they linked NuvaRing to a 6.5-fold increased risk of blood clots. Another study, which was published just two months later in the New England Journal of Medicine, linked NuvaRing to a 2.5-fold increased risk of thrombotic stroke.