Ennis & Ennis reports that on February 7, 2014 United States District Court Judge Rodney Sippel approved a $100 million settlement in the NuvaRing Multidistrict Litigation and the date to opt in the settlement has been extended to April 9, 2014.
Online PR News – 31-March-2014 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida – On February 7, 2014 United States District Court Judge Rodney Sippel approved a $100 million settlement in the NuvaRing Multidistrict Litigation. More than 1,400 NuvaRing lawsuits had been filled in the federal court. The terms of the settlement require that at least 95% of eligible claimants opt into the settlement program. The deadline to opt-in was originally set for March 10, 2014. However, there was an expectation that the original deadline would be extended to communicate the Settlement Offer to clients. An extension was incorporated into the Settlement Agreement; however, it is unlikely another extension will be granted. Accordingly, all claimants who were injured by a NuvaRing device must file their opt-in forms by April 9, 2014 to participate in the global settlement.
NuvaRing is a small and flexible vaginal birth control ring manufactured by Merck, which received FDA approval in 2001. It releases fertility suppressing hormones. It is a combination hormonal contraceptive that contains estrogen and a third generation progestin, desogestrel. In the litigation, plaintiffs allege that Merck was aware that desogestrel, as a third generation progestin, carried a higher risk of venous thromboembolism in comparison to other hormonal birth control product on the market.
Plaintiffs also allege that Merck’s own clinical trials and independent studies showed this higher risk. However, Merck chose to use the third generation progestin, despite the fact that there were numerous alternative safer second generation progestins available. In 2007, a consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen petitioned the FDA to remove all third generation contraceptive, including NuvaRing and Yaz from the market. In October 2011, The FDA released the findings of government research indicating women who used the NuvaRing were at a 56 percent higher risk of suffering blood clotting that led to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism than women on birth control pills. In 2012, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that vaginal rings like NuvaRing could nearly triple women’s risk of developing blood clots when compared to the risk associated with older birth control pills.
Currently over 120 law firms have clients participating in the settlement agreement. It is expected that the 95% participation will soon be reached and that Merck will fund the settlement program. Ennis & Ennis, P.A. continues to offer free, nationwide, confidential consultations to anyone who was injured by the NuvaRing by calling toll free 1-800-856-6405 or by going to www.ennislaw.com and completing an online case evaluation form.