In a recently filed lawsuit, a group of 55 people blame the manufacturer of a birth control medication for causing them to develop serious blood clots, among other injuries.
Lead plaintiff Anna Acquaviva and the other 54 plaintiffs claim they utilized the NuvaRing contraceptive for birth control purposes. At the time they utilized the contraceptive, however, the defendants did not realize that their risk of blood clots increased, according to the complaint.
The NuvaRing releases more hormones, such as progestin and estrogen, than its manufacturers advertise. In turn, the users experienced an increased chance of developing blood clots in their deep veins, normally in the legs, the suit states. If such a blood clot breaks free from the vein and travels to the lungs, it can be fatal and can cause a condition caused pulmonary embolism.
In the complaint, Organon Pharmaceutical, which developed NuvaRing, and Schering-Plough Corporation, which acquired Organon, are named as defendants. Merck and Co. is also named as a defendant because it merged with Schering-Plough.
The defendants negligently failed to warn the plaintiffs of the dangers associated with NuvaRing, the complaint says.
“Defendants have never sought to enlarge their warnings about thrombotic risks associated with the use of the product,” the suit states. “Instead, defendants marketed (and continue to market) NuvaRing as having a low risk of side effects and continues to maximize the product's side effects by focusing on the incidence of minor side effects, stating, ‘With NuvaRing there is a low incidence of side effects, such as headaches, nausea and breast tenderness.’”
Because of their use of NuvaRing, the plaintiffs claim they have suffered severe and personal injuries, including death, physical pain and mental anguish; experienced a diminished enjoyment of life; and have a future of high-risk pregnancies. At least one of the plaintiffs died as a result of the contraceptive, according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs allege failure to warn, manufacturing defect, design defect, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranties, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, common law fraud, wrongful death and gross negligence against the defendants.
They seek unspecified compensatory damages.
John J. Driscoll of The Driscoll Law Firm in St. Louis and David W. Alexander of Williams, Kherkher, Hart, Boundas in Houston will be representing them.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-17.