On Friday, February 7, 2014, Merck & Co announced that it is willing to pay $100 million to settle all NuvaRing intrauterine contraceptive device lawsuits.
The NuvaRing contraceptive is a flexible ring that releases the hormones estrogen and progestin in order to prevent pregnancy. NuvaRing has been associated with an increased risk of forming blood clots, which can in turn cause heart attacks, strokes, even death. An FDA report released in 2011 announced that NuvaRing posed a higher risk for blood clots than other birth control devices.
Thousands of NuvaRing intrauterine contraceptive device lawsuits have been filed over the last few years. Plaintiffs have alleged that Merck & Co downplayed the serious health risks connected to the birth control device.
These cases are consolidated in federal court in Missouri and state court in New Jersey. At least 95% of all plaintiffs must accept the proposed settlement agreement before it can become official.
According to Reuters, this proposed settlement represents only “a fraction of what at least one company has paid in a similar settlement.” Last year, Bayer paid nearly $1.6 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits alleging that Yaz and Yazmin birth control pills caused blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks.