Court Permits Punitive Damage Claims To Go Forward In NuvaRing Litigation

Posted By Power Rogers & Smith, P.C. || Jan 16, 2014

As reported by Civil Justice Magazine, A New Jersey state judge permitted plaintiffs to maintain claims for punitive damages in nine bellweather cases related to injuries caused by the popular NuvaRing contraceptive device. The ruling came in response to a motion for summary judgment filed by Merck & Co. Inc., one of the companies responsible for marketing and manufacturing NuvaRing. The Judge ruled that the injuries allegedly caused by use of NuvaRing took place in separate states, and those states have an interest in governing punitive damages and their applicability to the cases before them.

NuvaRing first manufactured by a Dutch pharmaceutical company named Organon. It was approved in the United States in 2001 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Merck & Co. Inc. were the primary manufacturers of the product. They sold millions of prescriptions of the ring, targeting young women who were intrigued by the convenience of the birth control. In 2012, Merck made $623 million dollars off of the drug.

However, throughout the years, there were growing lawsuits filed against the pharmaceutical company. There were growing reports of young women suffering from blood clots, strokes, and severe pain. Many young women died because of the ring.

Some of the reasons for the suits that were cited in the claims are:

  • Merck did not disclose the risks of the drug properly
  • The birth control caused blood clots that could travel to the lungs and form in the legs
  • The company was negligent when it came to patient risks
  • Allegedly the pharmaceutical manufacturers knew about the risks, but continued to sell the product

From January 2001 through December 2007, 800,000 women were studied while using NuvaRing. Studies found that there was a 56% greater risk of venous thromboembolic events and three times greater risk of heart attacks and strokes.

If you or a loved one has used NuvaRing and experienced any of these harrowing symptoms, call Power Rogers & Smith today.


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