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NuvaRing® Lawsuit Update: Plaintiffs Succeed in Defeating Defendants’ Summary Judgment Motion in NuvaRing® MDL

On July 12, United States District Court Judge Rodney Sippel handed down an order largely denying defendants’ summary judgment motion filed against the first bellwether trial plaintiff in the Multidistrict Litigation In re: NuvaRing® Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 1964). In particular, the Honorable Judge Rodney Sippel ruled that plaintiff established genuine issues of material fact as to her claims of inadequate warning, fraud, misrepresentation, design defect, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. Thus, Judge Sippel allowed for those claims to remain intact as the plaintiff’s case proceeds to trial as scheduled on October 21. Judge Sippel also ruled that the jury is permitted to award punitive damages at trial.

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 2012, Dr. Øjvind Lidegaard published an article in the British Medical Journal confirming that users of NuvaRing® had nearly double the risk of suffering a VTE in comparison to users of second generation products.

In 2008, all federal NuvaRing® lawsuits were consolidated before the Hon. Judge Rodney Sippel in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri as part of a Multidistrict Litigation. There are currently over 1,200 actions pending in the Multidistrict Litigation. Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP are leaders in the national Multidistrict Litigation and have been appointed by the Hon. 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.

If you or a loved one have suffered a pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, other blood clots, or even death while using NuvaRing®, please contact Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP toll-free at 1-800-873-5297 for your confidential and free consultation.


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