A U.S. District Chief Judge in Kentucky recently preserved two claims that drug maker Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. wanted thrown out. The claims were based on two forms of negligence, strict liability and negligent representation. Bayer sought to have the claims dismissed, along with a claim for breach of implied warranty. Bayer’s argument that Kentucky law does recognize negligent misrepresentation as a cause of action in products liability suits involving personal injury was not found to be persuasive. The plaintiff, Kara Stanley, will be allowed to pursue those claims in an attempt to recover damages for the harm done to her by the Mirena intrauterine birth control device.
Ms. Stanley received the Mirena device in May 2012. Within the year, she began suffering debilitating headaches and problems seeing out of her left eye. Eventually, doctors concluded that she had bilateral optic nerve swelling, caused by a pseudotumor cerebri. The health condition can cause permanent damage, including progressively worsening vision and blindness. In Ms. Stanley’s case, the damage to her optic nerve is permanent and she has lost 40 percent of her vision in the left eye.
In addition to the claims for strict liability and negligent representation, the suit includes claims for negligence, design defect, failure to warn, breach of express warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation and fraud by suppression and concealment. This is one of countless lawsuits brought against Bayer regarding the Mirena IUD. Thousands of women have suffered serious complications in association with the devices. Many lawsuits have targeted misrepresentations concerning the benefits and potential risks of the device in advertising released by Bayer.
Source: Law360, “Bayer Can’t Nix Claims In Mirena IUD Blindness Lawsuit,” by Brandon Lowrey, 24 July 2015