This blog is dedicated to updating consumers about product recalls in the U.S. market. However, an equally important topic involves dangerous products that have not been recalled, but perhaps should be. The FDA often either recalls or strongly encourages manufacturers to voluntarily recall products from the market. Yet, on some occasions dangerous products are permitted to remain in the stream of commerce, either because the risk of injury percentage is low, the science on causation for injury is underdeveloped or the FDA is not aware of the serious risks involved. One such product is NuvaRing, a once-a-month vaginal ring contraceptive which is marketed as containing lower doses of hormones. Recent studies on the contraceptive have indicated that use is strongly correlated to an increased risk of blood clots.
The British Medical Journal published a study on May 10, 2012 linking vaginal rings (like NuvaRing) to an alarming 90% increased risk of blood clots over oral contraceptives. In June this year, another study was release in the New England Journal of Medicine indicating that vaginal rings could lead to up to a 3-fold increased risk of blood clots.
To date, the FDA has received over 1,000 reports of blood clots developing from NuvaRing use. Further, in 2011, the FDA released a report concluding that vaginal ring contraceptives could increase risk of blood clots by 56%.
Because so many individuals have been injured by NuvaRing, all NuvaRing cases involving blood clot injuries have been consolidated into Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in Missouri. Multi-District Litigation is different from a class action. Unlike a class action, where all plaintiff’s injuries are the same, in an MDL every person harmed has their own separate claim with a separate injury. However, the cases are consolidated under one court and one judge due to similarity in product and causation. Yet, every plaintiff is still awarded, if monetary compensation results, an amount of funds which accurately represents his or her individual injuries. It is also important to note that any person injured by NuvaRing can file their case in this MDL. It is not required that the plaintiff travel to Missouri for any purpose.
Recently, in late August, U.S. Federal District Judge Rodeny W. Sippel – overseeing the NuvaRing Cases, announced that the first Bellwether trials will begin May 2013. A Bellwether trial is brought before the MDL judge and involves a representative group of plaintiffs. The trial process and decision ideally offer both parties an idea as to how litigation would result in individual trials. Bellwether trials often encourage settlement between the parties.
If you have experienced a blood clot, DVT, stroke or pulmonary embolism, contact an attorney for assistance. A claim against a dangerous device or drug manufacture provides just monetary compensation to the individual inured and also deters future negligent product production.
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