Mirena Manufacturer Calls for Centralized Litigation in New Jersey
In an effort to centralize the Mirena IUD lawsuits filed over the birth control device, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals is asking the New Jersey Supreme Court to create a “mass tort” Mirena litigation in the state. If the request is approved, all future lawsuits filed in the state will be handled by a single judge in New Jersey.
On August 9, 2012, Bayer took action by sending an Application for Centralized Management to Judge Glenn A. Grant, who serves as acting administrative director of New Jersey courts. It’s estimated that there are at least 16 product liability lawsuits filed against Bayer Pharmaceuticals in this state court, brought by women who experienced problems after being implanted with Mirena, a birth control device that is inserted into the uterus for up to five years.
Since the year 2000, when Bayer Pharmaceuticals started marketing the device, it was promoted as a hassle-free form of birth control. However, the injuries many women have sustained have proved it to be anything but.
In a lot of cases, the T-shaped device cut holes in the uterine wall or migrated outside the uterus and caused its victims a host of other complications that include abscesses, infection and even infertility. Mirena has also been seen to cause ectopic pregnancies and pelvic inflammatory disease. The perforation brought on by the IUD even left some women unprotected against pregnancy. Lawsuits against Bayer allege that the company neglected to thoroughly research the risk of Mirena side effects before marketing the device, and failed to warn women about the risks of complications.
In its request for centralized management of the lawsuits filed against them, Bayer pointed out that all 16 pending cases in Morris County Superior Court, New Jersey, were filed on behalf of more than 24 plaintiffs who all live outside the state. Highlighting this geographical diversity, Bayer said a centralized management with an experienced judge “will provide a streamlined approach to case management and avoid the possibility of duplicative motion practice.” It will also help “avoid the possibility of duplicative motion practice and inconsistent discovery rulings between multiple judges in Morris County,” the company stated.
Since Bayer Pharmaceuticals is based in Wayne, New Jersey, officials surmise that many lawsuits will be filed within the state.