A federal judge overseeing Mirena IUD lawsuits has granted its manufacturer’s request to dismiss 31 from the multidistrict litigation that exceeded Louisiana’s statute of limitations, court documents indicate.
According to an Order on January 9th, the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York ruled that the claims be dismissed on the grounds that plaintiffs should have been aware that the IUD caused their injuries within the time frame required to file their cases. Prior to this decision, the judge permitted Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals to submit a letter that explained why each Mirena lawsuit up for dismissal should be thrown out according to an earlier court decision to time-bar certain cases from the litigation.
In that situation, the Mirena MDL judge ruled in favor of Texas and Indiana law, which found that the plaintiff knew or should have known that the IUD caused her alleged injuries on or after July 8, 2011 and filed a suit within two years after. She failed to do so, so her IUD lawsuit was thrown out.
The 12 Louisiana plaintiffs in this case disagreed with Bayer’s motions to dismiss, arguing that state law allowed a one-year prescription period for product liability claims, and had different rules regarding discovery.
Even without these Mirena lawsuits, the New York litigation is continuing to progress. According to a federal court update on January 15, 2015, at least 1,160 claims had been filed in the proceeding on behalf of individuals who allege spontaneous migration of the IUD, uterine perforations, ectopic pregnancy, infection and other complications often requiring removal surgery. Plaintiffs in these claims allege Bayer’s failure to adequately warn women about complications that may stem from use of its product, which may have placed thousands of individuals at risk. The company also has a long-standing history of overstating benefits of the Mirena IUD, and downplaying its risk for side effects, lawsuits allege, which was evident in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Warning Letter the company received in 2009. The FDA scolded Bayer at this time for making misleading claims about the implant’s safety and effectiveness.
Hundreds of similarly-filed Mirena lawsuits have also been filed in a consolidated litigation underway in New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court. According to a Case List updated on January 13, a total of 1,624 lawsuits are now pending in the state proceeding.