The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has announced the consolidation of all federal lawsuits involving the intrauterine device Mirena in a multidistrict litigation (MDL). This group of Mirena lawsuits will be heard in the Southern District of New York by Judge Cathy Seibel.
An MDL is a type of legal procedure designed to speed complicated litigation involving large numbers of plaintiffs. In an MDL, each plaintiff files their own case, but they are combined for pre-trial purposes. If a trial is necessary, then each case is tried separately. This is contrasted with a class action where one or more plaintiffs bring a single case on behalf of a group of injured parties. If a trial is necessary, then the claims of all of the members of the group are decided together.
Lawsuits filed by Mirena users against Bayer have alleged that the company failed to properly warn women about the health risks of using the IUD. Since Mirena was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the agency has received more than 45,000 reports of problems with Mirena by women who were being treated with the birth control device.
Some of the most serious complications associated with the use of Mirena include uterine perforation, migration of the IUD outside the uterus, embedding of the device in the uterine wall, and pregnancy complications. In some cases, women who experience problems with Mirena may be forced to undergo surgery in order to have the IUD removed or to repair injuries caused by the device.