What is Mirena®?
Mirena® is an intrauterine device (IUD) designed to release the hormone levonorgestrel, a type of progesterone, to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The device is implanted into the patient’s uterus where it releases these hormones for up to five years. The device is marketed as a way to prevent pregnancy for up to five years without the need to take a pill or utilize other traditional birth control methods. Unfortunately, patients who are implanted with Mirena® may be at a higher risk of serious injuries or complications than patients using other forms of birth control.
Types of Mirena® Injuries
- Perforation and Embedding in the Uterus and Migration – The Mirena® device can sometimes become dislodged from the uterus and can perforate the surrounding uteran tissue or become embedded in the uterus. The device can also migrate, or travel to other parts of the body and can cause damage to tissues and other organs. These events require surgery to correct, and can be deadly if not treated in a timely fashion.
- Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) (also known as, Pseudotumor Cerebri or PTC) – The Mirena® IUD may be associated with the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull which can cause neurological problems. Symptoms of these disorders include double or blurred vision, ringing in the ears, severe headaches, and swelling of the optic nerves.
- Unwanted Hysterectomy – If a patient experiences an unwanted side effect from Mirena®, sometimes it is necessary for the patient to undergo a hysterectomy to fix the problem. Once a woman has a hysterectomy, she can no longer have children. So if a young woman experiences a side effect of Mirena® and needs a hysterectomy to fix the problem, she will no longer be able to have children as a result of the problem.
The history of Mirena® litigation is a complicated one. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation originally created MDL No. 2434, which was centralized in the Southern District of New York, but was limited to only cases alleging migration of Mirena® into the uterus of patients. MDL 2434 did not include claims that Mirena® caused Intracranial hypertension. In July 2016, the presiding judge of MDL 2434 entered an Order granting summary judgment to Defendants in all cases in the MDL, effectively eliminating the litigation. That ruling is currently on appeal.
In April 2017, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created MDL No. 2767 and centralized the MDL in the Southern District of New York in front of Presiding Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. Unlike the first MDL concerning Mirena®, the second Mirena MDL is focused solely on alleged intracranial hypertension injuries. As a result of the creation of this MDL, every lawsuit filed in any Federal Court in the U.S. alleging intracranial hypertension injuries caused by Mirena® will be transferred into the MDL for pretrial proceedings.