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Petition to Consolidate NuvaRing Lawsuits Granted

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A request by plaintiff to consolidate federal NuvaRing lawsuits has been granted. NuvaRing is a hormonal contraceptive device that has been linked to blood clots and deaths.

On August 22, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided that NuvaRing cases now pending in federal court, and those filed in the future,  will be heard in the Eastern District of Missouri before Judge Rodney W. Sippel.  The plaintiffs had suggested in their petition that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri was the particular federal district court that should be assigned the NuvaRing Multidistrict Litigation. The plaintiffs said that one case pending there, Sarah M. Jenn v. Organon International, Inc., et al,. had progressed further in the pre-trial stage of litigation than most if not all other NuvaRing lawsuits filed in federal court.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation of the United States Courts was created in 1968. Since then, it has consolidated hundreds of thousands of lawsuits that involved high numbers of plaintiffs, including litigation over asbestos, breast implants and other matters. Each case in a Multidistrict Litigation retains its own identity. If the Multidistrict Litigation process does not resolve the cases, they are transferred back to the court where they originated for trial.

Since NuvaRing hit the market in 2001, it has been the subject of many lawsuits related to blood clots. It’s also been blamed for 12 deaths nationwide. NuvaRing releases a combination of ethinyl estradiol, a form of the hormone estrogen, and etonogestral. Etonogestral is an active metabolite of desogestrel, a form of the hormone progestin.  In 2003 the New England Journal of Medicine published two studies that concluded that the use of low-estrogen oral contraceptives containing the progestin desogestrel significantly  increases the risk of venous thromboembolism, a potentially fatal type of  blood clot, more than low-estrogen birth control pills containing levonorgestrel.  NuvaRing releases approximately 120 micrograms of etonogestral per day, a relatively high dose of this dangerous hormone.

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