NuvaRing maker to pay $100 million in dangerous product suit

The manufacturer of the popular contraceptive NuvaRing has agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits for a total payment of $100 million. Merck & Co. has agreed to pay victims in connection with federal and state court cases throughout the nation. Although none of those was filed in Texas, some local women may be eligible for compensation because of the effects of the dangerous product.

Official reports show that the average payout in connection in the case will amount to about $58,000. Women had filed the dangerous-product suit after suffering from higher heart-attack risk because of NuvaRing's chemical composition. Still, although the average payout appears fairly high, Merck appears to be getting off fairly easily, as competitors have paid contraceptive settlements in the billions of dollars. Last year, pharmaceutical company Bayer paid more than $1.6 billion in connection with claims about its Yaz and Yasmin birth-control products. Those medications also lead to blood-clotting risks that increased incidence of heart attacks and stroke.

Attorneys say that the progestin hormone included in the NuvaRing was twice as likely as other compounds to cause blood clots. Those clots can be extraordinarily dangerous, causing strokes and heart attacks, and even traveling to the lungs to cause fatal pulmonary embolisms. Victims had alleged that the drug company failed to provide adequate information about the dangers associated with the drug. They argue that irresponsible labeling led to liberal prescribing practices that would not have occurred if risks had been appropriately communicated to physicians and patients.

Victims who have been injured or sickened because of improperly labeled pharmaceutical products may benefit from consulting a qualified Texas attorney. These professionals may be able to help clients learn more about their legal rights against pharmaceutical companies. Attorneys may be able to seek fair compensation for their clients that have suffered personal injury because of medications.

Source: Bloomberg News, "Merck Said to Agree to $100 Million NuvaRing Settlement" Jef Feeley & David Voreacos, Feb. 07, 2014

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