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Missouri Woman Suffers Severe Mirena Birth Control Complications

More than 15 million women across the globe have relied on the Mirena IUD for prevention of unwanted pregnancies. But the intrauterince device has arguable flaws, as evidenced by growing litigation in court rooms across the nation. Patients allege life-altering Mirena birth control complications ranging from uterine perforation and ectopic pregnancy to infertility.

Manufacturer Bayer Pharmaceuticals now faces another product liability complaint, filed this month by a Missouri woman who claims the device migrated after insertion, requiring a painful and costly surgical removal.

Her Mirena IUD lawsuit levels counts of strict product liability – design and manufacture defects, failure to warn, breach of warranties, negligent misrepresentation and fraud by concealment. The plaintiff, a 27-year old woman named Katherine Volz, is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

Mirena IUD found in plaintiff’s abdomen

Volz brought her Mirena IUD lawsuit in Missouri District Court on December 12, 2013. Documents indicate that roughly a year after having the device inserted by her doctor in 2008, the plaintiff suffered pain and discharge indicating potential complications. As the strings to the IUD were not apparent outside of the vagina, several sonograms showed that the IUD had migrated out of its original position inside the uterus, and appeared in the endometrium.

A second test showed the Mirena had moved yet again, and after Volz’s doctor recommended surgical removal, the IUD was discovered on the left side of the abdomen just out of her pelvis, clearly embedded in surrounding tissues. Prior to the surgery, the plaintiff was diagnosed with a bacterial infection, and was experiencing significant abdominal pain.

Her experience echoes that of hundreds of other women, who also suffered Mirena complications less than 5 years after insertion. Bayer’s marketing material claimed that complications such as migration and uterine perforation are not likely to occur, and typically happen at the time of insertion. However, Volz’s problems started just 12 months after she was implanted with the IUD.

Her surgeon found the Mirena in the perirectal fat just underneath the sigmoid colon. And as an alleged result of these injuries and complications, the claimant argues that she has sustained significant expenses for medical care and treatment and will continue to incur such expenses in the future. Volz blames Bayer for designing and manufacturing an unreasonably dangerous and defective product without sufficient warnings, which as a result has cost her financially, physically and emotionally. She contends that she has incurred both lost wages and a loss of earning capacity.

Allegations cited in Mirena IUD lawsuit

Bayer is charged with failing to sufficiently caution consumers and prescribers of, among other things, the risk of Mirena IUD migration post-insertion – a common allegation cited in dozens of complaints. Volz says the defendant consistently downplayed potential Mirena side effects, including migration and uterine perforation, in attempt to maximize profits at the expense of public safety.

Court documents show that Bayer is being held liable for “its promotion of the subject product in an overly aggressive, deceitful, and fraudulent manner, despite evidence as to the product’s defective and dangerous characteristics due to its propensity to cause serious injury and/or death.”

The company’s infamous Simple Style ad campaign once advertised the Mirena as helping women look and feel great, while achieving greater intimacy with their partners – misleading claims that were later abandoned, thanks to efforts by federal regulators.