Mirena is a form of birth control that is an intrauterine device (IUD). In other words, it’s a T shaped device that a healthcare provider inserts into a patient’s uterus. You may have seen the commercials that appeared as part of an aggressive marketing campaign that began in 2000. Unfortunately, several women have come forward alleging physical injuries and side effects after using the Mirena IUD. Some of these side effects are quite drastic:
• Migration of the IUD
• Perforations of the uterine wall and other nearby internal organs such as the bladder and intestines.
• Vaginal scarring and/or chronic pain
• Pelvic inflammatory disease
• Ovarian cysts
Shockingly, some Mirena users have come forward claiming infertility after using the IUD. Others have even suffered traumatic life threatening ectopic pregnancies.
Currently, 123 Mirena lawsuits have been consolidated into the Multi District litigation (MDL), which was created by the Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation. The MDL streamlines the litigation process for federal lawsuits, such as those filed against Bayer Pharmaceuticals. All of these cases share similar allegations and statements of fact.
Judge Cathy Seibel of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York has recently released a Scheduling Order on the multidistrict litigation. All parties have been given a timetable for the discovery process.
Discovery is a phase before the trial where all parties get as much information as they can before trial. They obtain evidence in several ways: requests for documents, requests for admissions, depositions, and interrogatories are just a few. Information can even be received by nonparties through the use of subpoenas. The particular Scheduling Order released on August 16, 2013 includes a deadline of September 16, 2013 for all plaintiffs to produce their initial interrogatories and requests for production. Additionally, the defendants have been ordered to release any custodial files they may have on certain plaintiffs. Later this year, it is expected that expert reports will be produced in anticipation of settlement or trial.
Also included in Judge Seibel’s Order is the fact that parties have been ordered to select cases for the Initial disposition Pool on or before April 4, 2014. Any case-specific discovery must be finished by September 30, 2014.
The cases in the initial pool of Mirena cases are known as “Bellwether” cases. They are the first cases that go to trial in the MDL. The Bellweather trials are expected to begin in 2015. This is important, because these initial lawsuits are a way for all the involved parties to assess how a jury reacts to testimony and evidence regarding Mirena usage and effects. The outcome of these Bellweather cases will also be utilized to further negotiations should it be decided that a settlement with Bayer is best for all parties.
The Dolman Law Group has been helping injured parties for years. On or off the road, we are here to help with any injuries you, your family, or friends have wrongfully incurred. If you or a loved one has been injured by Mirena IUDs, feel free to contact the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900