NuvaRing is a flexible plastic ring used by women to prevent pregnancy. It is put into the vagina for three weeks before being removed, and then a new one is inserted a week later. The manufacturer of NuvaRing is Merck & Co., which claimed that it is as effective as birth control pills used to prevent pregnancy. However, our NuvaRing lawyers are aware that Merck may not have provided adequate warnings to consumers about NuvaRing's increased risk of potentially fatal blood clots. In at least a few cases, patients have died due to these blood clots. If you have been injured as a result of using NuvaRing or another defective medical device, you may wish to consult a product liability lawyer who can represent you in a claim against the manufacturer. At Moll Law Group, we help consumers nationwide seek compensation for harm caused by defective products.Proving Responsibility for Injuries Caused by NuvaRing
NuvaRing releases certain artificial hormones, estonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol, into a woman’s body. These hormones inhibit ovulation, thereby preventing pregnancy. Unfortunately, these hormones can also produce an increased risk of blood clots. The consequences of blood clots are severe and include pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, and thrombotic stroke. In 2012, the British Medical Journal reported that those who use vaginal rings are 6.5 times more likely to develop blood clots than those who do not. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that consumers of NuvaRing were also at a greater risk of thrombotic stroke and myocardial infarction than the average person. In 2014, Merck agreed to a $100 million nationwide settlement for injuries occurring prior to February 7, 2014.
One type of dangerous product defect for which a manufacturer may be held strictly liable is a marketing defect, also known as a failure to warn. That is likely the theory applicable to NuvaRing cases. To establish liability, a plaintiff needs to prove with the assistance of a NuvaRing lawyer that:
- The defendant was the manufacturer or in the chain of distribution for NuvaRing;
- NuvaRing had potential risks or side effects that the scientific or medical community knew about and accepted at the time of manufacture or sale;
- The potential risks associated with blood clots presented a substantial danger when the NuvaRing is used in a reasonably foreseeable way;
- Ordinary consumers would not recognize the risks on their own;
- The manufacturer failed to warn about the potential side effects;
- The plaintiff was injured; and
- The lack of warnings was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's injuries.
Manufacturers may make numerous potential defenses in a failure to warn case. Depending on the jurisdiction, these may include a plaintiff's failure to read warnings, or a lack of duty to warn of known hazards or open and obvious risks. One defense that is available in some jurisdictions is the presumption of adequate warning defense. In New Jersey (where Merck is located), for example, there is a presumption of adequacy if the FDA has approved a product. Plaintiffs can rebut the presumption that a warning was adequate by introducing evidence of deliberate concealment or failure to disclose after-acquired knowledge of harmful risks, or by introducing evidence that the manufacturer manipulated the post-market regulatory process for economic gain.Discuss your Product Liability Claim with an Experienced NuvaRing Attorney
If you suffered a blood clot, stroke, heart condition, or other complication from using a NuvaRing, the product liability attorneys at Moll Law Group are available to help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Billions of dollars have been recovered in cases in which we were involved around the nation. Our lawyers bring product liability cases in states such as California, Florida, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. Call us at 312-462-1700 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with a NuvaRing attorney.