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Wrongful death claims part of $100 million NuvaRing settlement

NuvaRing's $100 million settlement, approved by a U.S.district court judge in February, is set to move forward. More than 95 percent of the claimants involved have opted in.

NuvaRing -- a hormonal birth control -- has been used since 2002. It is a flexible ring that is placed in the vaginal wall. The suit alleged that the device was not properly designed or tested and that the risks associated with the device were not completely disclosed.

Side effects like stroke, heart attack, blood clots, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer have all been linked to NuvaRing, according to the suit. One of the lead attorneys on the case says that there were also 83 wrongful death claims. While Merck, the company who sells NuvaRing, says that "substantial" evidence shows the contraceptive to be safe, the attorney said that one of the reasons for the suit was to raise awareness that an FDA approval does not mean across the board safety.

After the February approval of the settlement, Merck still would have been able to drop the settlement if less than 95 percent of the claimants chose to take part. Now that the threshold has been exceeded, the $100 million is set to be split between approximately 3,800 people.

Bringing a wrongful death suit against an at-fault party can seem daunting, especially when surviving family members are dealing with grief and the difficult decisions that come after losing a loved one. In Wisconsin, if a death is caused through the negligence of another, it may be possible for family members to get financial help in the form of a monetary award through the courts to help with expenses, be compensated for loss of companionship and bring some closure to the case.

Source: FOX News, "$100 million NuvaRing settlement finalized" No author given, Jun. 06, 2014

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