This week, a Virginia man filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the birth control device NuvaRing, claiming that it caused his wife to suffer a pulmonary embolism. Filed by the man in Newport News, Virginia, the lawsuit claims wrongful death against Organon and Merck, the distributors of the drug.
NuvaRing is an etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring that is routinely used to prevent pregnancy. NuvaRing and generic forms are in a class of medications known as hormonal contraceptives or better known as birth control medication. These work by preventing ovulation, as well as altering the lining of the uterus. Doing both helps NuvaRing to prevent pregnancy and alter the mucus at the cervix to prevent any reproductive cells from entering.
The man’s wife is said to have passed away in 2009 as a result of blood clots in her pulmonary arteries. The lawsuit filed blames the birth control device for the death and the pulmonary embolism that occurred.
Organon and Merck, the manufacturers, are said to have failed to actually develop proper studies that would’ve proved a risk of blood clots in relation to NuvaRing. The man is claiming that had this study and research been done beforehand, his wife’s physician would’ve never prescribed the birth control device for her. In turn, he is essentially saying that with proper research and warning by the manufacturers, his wife would still be alive.
The lawsuit is looking for $10 million because of alleged strict liability, negligence, loss of consortium and breach of warranty. Since its launch in the summer of 2002, NuvaRing has already been the focus of numerous lawsuits filed throughout the U.S.
There are currently around 750 people who have filed a lawsuit focused on blood clot injuries as a result from NuvaRing, with numbers expected to continue rising. According to an Associated Press report, a comparable lawsuit was filed in Nebraska during 2010, claiming a similar blood clot related death resulting from the use of NuvaRing.
Along with the recent controversy relating to blood clots, NuvaRing has already been the focus of multiple side effects and some birth defect risks during pregnancy. It has also been focused on for its connections to complications such as heart attack, thrombosis, and gallbladder disease.
Beck, Margery A. (July 12, 2010). “Makers of NuvaRing sued over woman’s death.” Retrieved on June 24, 2011 from MSNBC