Jennifer Vezina, a Vermont resident, has become the first women to file a suit for injuries from the use of the Mirena IUD in the newly created multidistrict litigation involving litigation over that device.
Her suit was commenced April 18, 2013, by her New York City counsel, Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP. It seeks substantial damages for a perforation of her uterus which occurred within a few months of its use. The device is made by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Wayne, N.J.
On April 8 of this year, all the federal litigation involving this product was assigned to one judge, Cathy Seibel, in the Southern District of New York, a federal court that sits in New York City and White Plains. She will be in charge of seeing that the lawsuits are worked up as a group and made ready for trial.
The Mirena is an intrauterine device which is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It contains a hormone known as levonorgestrel, which is released slowly over the time. Numerous reports have been filed with the FDA relating to embedment of the device in the uterus as well as actual perforation. Ms. Vezina had to have abdominal surgery in order to retrieve the IUD.
The Rheingold firm has a national practice involving suits for defects in drugs and medical devices. This includes other contraceptives, including NuvaRing and Yaz. It also is involved in substantial litigation for persons injured through the use of “metal-on-metal” hip replacements, made by the DePuy and Striker companies.
The firm does workups of new cases without charge, under a contingent fee agreement, which means that it gets paid only at the end of the litigation. A nurse on staff assists in review of medical records to determine if a proposed suit is meritorious.