W. Roger Smith, III, a lawyer in our Mass Torts section, has been appointed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to serve on the Plaintiffs Steering Committee for the Mirena IUD litigation pending before that Court. The case is MDL No. 2434.

The Mirena IUD is an intrauterine device used to prevent pregnancy. It is also used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. It is a small, T-shaped device made of flexible plastic that is inserted into the uterine cavity by a trained health care provider. It releases the hormone levonorgestrel.

Since it was approved in 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received numerous reports of adverse events associated with the device, including the IUD becoming imbedded, migrating and/or perforating the uterine wall. It can move through the abdominal cavity and end up in the bowels, intestine, spine, hip or pelvic area. Often surgery, including hysterectomy, is needed to remove the device.

“I am honored to be selected to work as part of the team prosecuting these cases on behalf of the women that have been injured by these IUD devices,” Smith said. “It is my hope that we can bring these cases to a successful and timely resolution for our clients.”

Consolidating the cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) allows the committee overseeing the process to put more pressure and focus on moving the case forward, moving cases more quickly to resolution. Lawyers will coordinate the litigation and work together on issues of science and discovery.

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