Lawsuits allege Nuvaring birth control caused blood clots

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Apr 5, 2010

MARSHALL-Three East Texas women claim that after taking Nuvaring, the "first and only, once-a-month vaginal birth control ring," they developed blood clots.

Individually, Stephanie Huckabee, Christina Renee Pitchard and Amber Dawn Morgan each filed suit against Nuvaring's manufacturers, Organon USA Inc., Organon International Inc., and Merck & Co. Inc. on March 26 in the Marshall division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Nuvaring is marketed as providing the same efficacy as birth control pills but more convenient by offering month-long protection. The women state they relied upon misrepresentations of the product and have now sustained injuries.

The complaints state that the manufacturers failed to warn of the greater risk of venous thromboembolism, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

"Instead, Defendants Organon market Nuvaring as having a low risk of side effects and continue to minimize Nuvaring's side effects by focusing on the incidence of minor side effects," the suits state.

According to the complaints, Morgan states that she was prescribed the drug for a year and a half before she was diagnosed with DVT and eventually hospitalized. Plaintiff Pitchard states that she used the birth control for less than a year when she was diagnosed with multiple DVT. Plaintiff Huckabee said that she used the drug for less than a year when she was diagnosed with DVT and a pulmonary embolism.

The plaintiffs' physicians recommended that they to stop using the drug, the suits state.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include strict products liability including defective manufacturing, defective design, defective due to inadequate warning, breach of express and implied warranties, strict products liability defect due to nonconformance with representations and defect due to failure to adequately test, negligence, negligent misrepresentation and fraud, and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for economic loss, non-economic loss, intense pain and suffering, court costs, attorneys' fees and expenses.

Longview attorney Douglas C. Monsour of The Monsour Law Firm is representing the plaintiffs. Other counsel includes attorney Gregory N. McEwen of the McEwen Law Firm Ltd. in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Chief Judge David Folsom is assigned to the cases.

Case No 2:10cv00105, 2:10cv00107, and 2:10cv00108

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