Young, healthy women who have no risk factors for blood clots are finding themselves in the ER after seizures, trouble breathing and pain in their limbs. Those symptoms are precursors to strokes, heart attacks or even death. The only commonality is that these women have all been users of NuvaRing.
What is NuvaRing?
NuvaRing is a type of birth control introduced to the United States in 2002, and is now sold by Merck & Co. It is a flexible plastic ring that is put in by women, not their doctors, once a month. Once inserted, that ring gives off a continuous dose of hormones designed to prevent pregnancy. The big selling point, detailed in Merck’s direct-to-consumer advertising, is the convenience—no doctor’s appointment is necessary to insert or remove the ring. Women can do it themselves.
What Injuries Can NuvaRing Cause?
All hormone-based birth control carries risks of blood clots. However, medical studies indicate that NuvaRing users are more likely to experience dangerous and even deadly blood clots. The specific problems include deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke, heart attack and death. Compared to some types of birth control, NuvaRing doubles these risks—or more. Even the FDA examined and confirmed the problem, in 2011. Of course, Merck & Co. failed to warn users of these increased risks in any of their advertisements.
There are about 1,500 NuvaRing lawsuits. Many of these lawsuits are centered in the federal court in St. Louis, where they are consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL). An MDL is similar to a class action—NuvaRing cases are grouped together for the purpose of common discovery and settlement talks, but each case can still stand on its own. There are 878 lawsuits in the federal MDL.
There is another large group of NuvaRing lawsuits, 130 of them, in New Jersey state court. A new case management order http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/mass-tort/nuvaring/cmo20.pdf was issued in April 2012, which addressed upcoming depositions, arguments about expert witnesses, and discussions about whether some cases should be dismissed because they were filed too late.
It is likely that NuvaRing test trials will begin very soon. This is usually the beginning of settlement talks—so many people expect that NuvaRing settlements are on the horizon. If you haven’t made a claim yet, contact a NuvaRing lawyer today.
If you have suffered any of these NuvaRing injuries: blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism, contact our NuvaRing lawyers at 1.800.553.8082, or request more information online.
Note: This post was written in May 2012. You can get an August 2013 update here.