Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has agreed to pay $100 million to settle the NuvaRing litigation, rather than face thousands of individual lawsuits brought on behalf of women who allege that they experienced severe blood clot injuries associated with the NuvaRing birth control device. During a February 7th hearing before New Jersey Superior Judge Brian R. Martinotti, a settlement agreement was announced that would resolve all NuvaRing birth control lawsuits pending in federal and state courts, in addition to qualifying cases yet to be filed. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of NuvaRing or another potentially dangerous medical device, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We can put you in touch with a skilled lawyer who has experience handling product liability cases.
NuvaRing is a prescription vaginal contraceptive ring manufactured by Merck, that releases a low dose of estrogen and progestin over the course of three weeks. Since its introduction in the United States in 2001, NuvaRing has become a popular form of birth control and is used today by approximately 1.5 million women around the world. Unfortunately, mounting research has identified use of the NuvaRing device as a risk factor for serious blood clot-related injuries, including stroke and possibly even death. In fact, according to a recent study, users of NuvaRing and other vaginal rings containing ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel have a 6.5-times increased risk of venous thrombosis, compared to non-users.
According to Judge Martinotti, there are currently about 3,800 NuvaRing lawsuits being pursued against Merck nationwide, involving different types of injuries, and the average payout dictated by the settlement agreement is expected to exceed $58,000 per case. However, under the terms of the NuvaRing settlement, each individual case must meet certain requirements to qualify for a payout, and a minimum of 95% of eligible plaintiffs must agree to participate in order for the agreement to move forward. If a sufficient number of plaintiffs fail to resolve their NuvaRing lawsuits through the settlement agreement, Merck is allowed to walk away from the deal and continue defending individual cases involved in the litigation.
Although Merck promoted its NuvaRing birth control device as carrying risks similar to oral contraceptives, studies have suggested that women using the NuvaRing may actually face a considerably higher risk of blood clots than women using oral birth control pills. Plaintiffs involved in the NuvaRing litigation claim that, had Merck provided accurate information about the potential risk of NuvaRing blood clot side effects, they may have avoided serious injury by choosing an alternative method of pregnancy prevention. If you or a loved one has suffered serious blood clot injuries while using Merck’s NuvaRing product, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and associated medical expenses. Contact an experienced NuvaRing attorney today for legal help.