January 23, 2013 — A motion has been filed to centralize nationwide Mirena lawsuits into one federal court. Plaintiff Stephanie Barnett has filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) seeking the creation of an MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, where her lawsuit is currently pending. With pending actions in several other states, she argues that an MDL is necessary to avoid conflicting rulings in multiple courts.
Mirena is a type of implantable birth control device that is used by more than 2 million American women. According to Barnett’s complaint, the problem with Mirena is as follows:
“Mirena’s label does not warn about spontaneous migration of the IUD, but only states that migration may occur if the uterus is perforated during insertion. Mirena’s label also describes perforation as an “uncommon” event, despite the numerous women who have suffered migration and perforation post-insertion, proving this assertion to be false. … Defendant has a history of overstating the efficacy of Mirena while understating the potential safety concerns to the detriment of Plaintiffs.”
The Mirena lawsuits that have already been filed all involve similar injuries and make similar allegations against Bayer, the company that markets and sells Mirena. These lawsuits are currently filed in Ohio, California, Arkansas, Kentucky, and New Jersey. Plaintiffs argue that it would be more convenient and efficient to centralize the litigation in one court.
The motion also argues that conflicting rulings are likely to occur if the litigation is not centralized, because “once the due diligence vetting and gathering of medical evidence is completed, there will be hundreds of lawsuits filed throughout the country. … In light of continuing, widespread attorney advertising, substantial new federal courts filings are anticipated.”