Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania NuvaRing suit could be added to class action

Manufacturers are obliged to let Allegheny County consumers know about a product's risks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the federal safety regulator for drugs, medical devices and foods. The FDA may recommend or order recalls for unsafe products that pose a threat of serious injuries or death.

A central Pennsylvania plaintiff has brought a lawsuit against drug and medical device maker Merck & Company Inc. and the company's previous owners. The woman claims she developed serious health symptoms about a month after starting to use the companies' NuvaRing vaginal birth control device.

Doctors diagnosed the woman with a pulmonary blood clot after the patient complained of problems with her breathing and chest. The woman was hospitalized for anticoagulation treatment. The patient remains under a doctor's care and takes medication, more than a year after the incident.

The lawsuit said product risk information was based on side effects in birth control studies more than NuvaRing tests. The liability claim alleged the defendants knew the product was more dangerous than birth control drugs but downplayed serious side effects, including potentially life-threatening conditions.

The York County woman petitioned the court for over $75,000 in damages on charges of product misrepresentation, warranty breaches, strict liability and negligence, among other allegations. The case could be transferred into a centralized federal case.

Pittsburgh residents harmed by defective products are encouraged to let the FDA know what they've experienced. Consumers don't have to wait until the government forces a company to add a warning label or insists upon a recall to take legal action. Product liability attorneys help clients seek compensation for damages from negligent manufacturers and product-associated companies.

Litigants sometimes band together in state and federal class action lawsuits. There are legal advantages and disadvantages to a complaint brought by collective plaintiffs. An attorney can tell you whether a class action rather than an individual lawsuit is advisable.

Source:, "York Co. woman files NuvaRing products liability complaint" Jon Campisi, Nov. 18, 2013

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