NuvaRing Case Results in $100 Million Settlement
Merk & Co. (MRK) has agreed to pay $100 million to settle several thousand lawsuits alleging that the contraceptive device NuvaRing resulted in potentially fatal blood clots.
Information about the Nuvaring Lawsuits
The women accused New Jersey-based Merck of selling the birth control product while knowing it posed a higher risk of heart attack-inducing blood clots than competing products.
According to Bloomberg, the plaintiffs contended that there are close to a dozen studies showing the type of progestin used in the device can double a patient’s risk of blood clots. They also argued that such clots could cause heart attacks or travel to the lungs, potentially resulting in death.
The family of a Nebraska mother who used NuvaRing sued Merk in 2010, after the woman was found dead due to a blood clot in her lung. In their lawsuit the family alleged that Merk misled users about the risks.
NuvaRing Case Consolidaiton
U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel of St. Louis, Missouri was in charge of overseeing the pre-trial information exchanges of more than 1,500 NuvaRing lawsuits dating back to 2008.
More than 200 additional suits were consolidated in New Jersey state court before Judge Brian Martinotti in Hackensack.
Marinotti previously threw out seven NuvaRing cases set as the first suits to go on trial after finding that the women failed to show that the device caused their injuries.
He also claimed that the plaintiffs could not show that doctors would not have prescribed the device had Merck included the information about the blood clots.
Merck to Pay Less than Other Companies
- The current will resolve cases in federal and state courts in Missouri and New Jersey, and will provide an average payout of more than $58,000 per case.
- Should the settlement be approved, Merck will end up paying a lot less than Bayer was required to in order to resolved similar lawsuits involving the contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin.
- Merck has not yet commented on the settlement.
- NuvaRing is a hormonal-vaginal contraceptive that combines both estrogen and progestin in a ring to prevent pregnancy.
- The product was previously linked in a 2011 report conducted by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration that showed there is a higher risk for blood clots.
- The product has been sold in the U.S since 2001.