Articles Posted in NuvaRing

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Bellwether trials in the first state and federal NuvaRing cases have been scheduled.

The first “test” trial in state court is scheduled to begin on May 6, 2013, and will be held in the New Jersey state court. The first trial will be picked from a group of nine eligible bellwether cases. Seven will be pulmonary embolism cases, one of which resulted in death, and two stroke cases.

The first federal court bellwether trial has been scheduled to begin on July 8, 2013. This will also consist of both pulmonary embolism cases and stroke cases.

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Our lawyers are investigating NuvaRing lawsuits. NuvaRing is a small inter-vaginal device inserted by the user once a month to prevent pregnancy. NuvaRing’s manufacturer sells NuvaRing on the premise that its regime is easy compared to the traditional birth control pill that has to be taken every day.

NuvaRing releases the hormones estrogen and progesterone into a woman’s body. The concern is that at high levels these hormones can cause cardiac problems and blood clotting, specifically, the formation of an embolus – a blood clot that can cause pulmonary embolisms. NuvaRing lawsuits contend that NuvaRing’s manufacturer failed to provide proper and full information as to the safety of the NuvaRing to the FDA, which regulates the sale of the NuvaRing.

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This is the sequel to “NuvaRing MDL: Plaintiffs’ Motions Victory,” blogged on August 21, 2009. We saw the post by our friends at Drug & Device Law and, predictably, we have a slightly different interpretation.
As we reported earlier, a master complaint was filed in the NuvaRing MDL (Missouri), largely at the request of Defendants. Then, attempting to perform an end-run around the procedural rules, they filed a motion to dismiss that master complaint, ignoring the fact that they had already answered most of the individual complaints (with no motions to dismiss having been filed). The judge held (we thought properly) that Defendants could not file the motion to dismiss.
The judge has reevaluated his position, and has stricken the master complaint (it looks like this was in response to motions for interlocutory appeal, which would have really gummed up the works). This basically puts things back to the status quo—each individual case in the MDL will have to be decided on its own. This may not be as arduous as it seems—if answers have been filed, motions to dismiss are improper. But, there are procedural tools around that, so Defendants will likely get their chance to argue dismissal the individual cases. So, the judge acted wisely again to keep the litigation moving.

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NuvaRing Victory for Plaintiffs

Earlier this month, plaintiffs won a nice victory in the NuvaRing MDL litigation, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Judge Sippel denied defendants’ motion to dismiss a master consolidated complaint (that defendants themselves requested Plaintiffs file, and plaintiffs consented). The judge appropriately held that the master complaint was simply an administrative tool to place all of plaintiffs’ claims in one document, but that it could not be dismissed where defendants had already responded to the individual plaintiffs’ complaints (there are about 150 of them). According to procedural rules, a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss cannot follow an individual answer. Defendants tried to be tricky by getting a global complaint filed (for convenience purposes), then trying to dismiss all the cases. Tricky, but the judge saw through it.