The federal judge overseeing a Mirena litigation in the Southern District of New York has scheduled its first trial to begin in March 2016, court records indicate.
According to a scheduling order on July 29th, the proceeding’s first trial has been scheduled to begin on March 7, 2016, and will involve a claim against the IUD’s manufacturer, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. The judge presiding over the Mirena litigation, which is currently underway in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York has already chosen a small group of cases that could serve in its bellwether trial program. The first lawsuits heading to court will hopefully indicate how juries will rule in similar actions over the IUD.
A group of 12 bellwether trials has been chosen by the Court, and a process for completing discovery in these Mirena IUD lawsuit claims has been outlined, according to the July order. The group will be narrowed down to six by May 2015, and the first trial will get underway the following year.
As the number of Mirena lawsuits in New York continues to grow, the Court will undoubtedly have a lot of cases to choose for its first trial. According to a Case List updated on July 15th, a total of 612 claims had been filed over the IUD. Lawsuits included in this proceeding similarly accuse Bayer of failing to warn about Mirena’s supposed potential to migrate away from the uterine wall, and into other parts of the body. This may result in uterine perforations, ectopic pregnancy, infection, and even infertility, in the worst-case scenario. Several women have filed lawsuits alleging the need for a hysterectomy after doctors were unable to locate their missing IUD.
Plaintiffs accuse Bayer of knowing about Mirena’s risks, but withholding from them the public in marketing campaigns that tout its safety and effectiveness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a Warning Letter in 2009 that scolded the company for downplaying IUD side effects, and overstating its benefits, which many Mirena lawsuits reference in their claims.