Bayer Healthcare claims that women suing the company over injuries allegedly caused by its Mirena IUD cannot prove that the intrauterine device could puncture the uterine wall – even if properly inserted – since nearly all of their expert witnesses have been excluded. But the women argue they don’t need expert testimony to prove their case because Bayer has already admitted Mirena poses dangers to women.
Bayer faces about 1,200 consolidated lawsuits alleging the pharmaceutical company failed to warn of Mirena side effects. The T-shpaed device is inserted into the cervix where it is designed to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. It is also used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. The lawsuits claim that the device can migrate from its intended position in the cervix and puncture the uterine wall, damaging tissue and organs, an injury referred to as secondary perforation.
Bayer’s attorneys claimed that the Mirena cases are similar to the Southern District of West Virginia, Meade v. Parsley, involving claims that the heartburn drug metoclopramide could cause patients to develop tardive dyskinesia, an uncontrolled movement disorder. Bayer says the plaintiffs in that case had no general-causation expert and relied on the drug’s safety label that stated: “WARNING: TARDIVE DYSKINESIA – Chronic treatment with metoclopramide can cause tardive dyskinesia, a serious movement disorder that is often irreversible.” In that case, the court said the plaintiffs’ argument was not good enough and that “causation evidence in toxic tort cases must be in the form of expert scientific testimony.”
Plaintiffs suing Bayer over Mirena side effects claim that “for years, Bayer has admitted – everywhere but in the courtroom – that Mirena can perforate the uterus after being properly inserted … A party’s admissions are admissible evidence, and when such evidence shows that a defendant has admitted general causation – that is, admitted that the complained-of injury can occur – no expert testimony on that subject is required.”