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NuvaRing Lawsuit Update: $100 Million Settlement Reached Against Merck

On February 7, 2014, United States District Court Judge Rodney W. Sippel approved a $100 Million settlement in the NuvaRing® Multidistrict Litigation In re: NuvaRing® Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 1964, Case No. 08-md-1964).

Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP are leaders in the national Multidistrict Litigation and have been appointed by Judge Sippel to serve in leadership roles on behalf of injured women against the manufacturers of NuvaRing®. In particular, Kristine K. Kraft has been appointed to serve as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and Co-Lead Counsel, and Roger C. Denton has been appointed to serve as Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel in the Multidistrict Litigation.

Roger & Kris“A settlement has been reached to settle all NuvaRing® cases nationwide for $100,000,000, assuming that at least 95% of the eligible claimants opt into the program,” says Roger Denton. He adds, “The settlement was reached after more than four years of litigation, after reviewing millions of pages of documents produced by Organon, and the completion of more than 100 depositions- both in the United States and in Europe.”  Denton further states that he believes that “the settlement program announced today, both in NJ and in the MDL Court in St. Louis, is an outstanding result and in the best interests of all the women who have suffered an injury associated with the use of NuvaRing®. The settlement program is a simplified and cost effective method that will bring the most compensation to the injured claimants and is fully endorsed by Judge Rodney Sippel, the MDL judge in St. Louis, Judge Brian Martinotti, the presiding mass tort judge in New Jersey, as well as the court-appointed mediator, retired federal Judge Wayne Andersen of Chicago.”

NuvaRing®, which is manufactured by Merck and its Organon subsidiaries, is a small and flexible vaginal birth control ring that received FDA approval in 2001. It is a combination hormonal contraceptive that contains estrogen and a third generation progestin, desogestrel. Despite the fact that there were numerous alternative second generation progestins available, Plaintiffs allege that NuvaRing® was intentionally designed to contain the third generation progestin, desogestrel. Plaintiffs further allege that as a result of defendants’ own clinical trials and independent studies on the topic, defendants knew that desogestrel – as a third generation progestin – carries a higher risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in comparison to other hormonal birth control products on the market containing second generation progestins. In 2007, the consumer watch organization, Public Citizen, petitioned the FDA to remove all third generation contraceptives, which would include NuvaRing®, from the market. However, in January 2013, the FDA denied Public Citizen’s request to remove third generation contraceptives from the market.

A label change for NuvaRing® occurred in October 2013 and is available on the FDA website. Although the NuvaRing® label removed the “unknown” language (pertaining to the fact that it is “unknown” whether NuvaRing® has a different risk of blood clots in comparison to other birth control), the FDA allowed the company to update the label to include some epidemiology studies, but not others. In particular, the revised October 2013 label includes the results of the company-funded TASC study (finding that users of NuvaRing® did not have an increased risk of VTE in comparison to users second generation birth control products), but does not include the results of the independent study conducted by Dr. Øjvind Lidegaard published and published in the British Medical Journal (finding that users of NuvaRing® had nearly double the risk of suffering a VTE in comparison to users of second generation products).
Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP is a unique law firm that aggressively represents its clients injured as a result of dangerous pharmaceutical medications and unsafe medical devices. The attorneys at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP who represent victims harmed by pharmaceutical manufacturers include Roger Denton, Kristine Kraft, Beth Wilkins Flieger, Ashley Brittain Landers, and Tara Rocque. With hard work, creative thinking, and strong trial skills, we have earned an outstanding nationwide reputation by representing thousands of individuals who have suffered serious injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of dangerous pharmaceutical medications or medical devices, please contact the attorneys at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP toll-free at 1-800-873-5297 for your confidential and free consultation.


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