NEW ORLEANS, La., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A notice program began today, as ordered by the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, to women who are or were Louisiana residents and who have or had the Norplant(R) contraceptive implant. The lawsuit is about whether Norplant(R) is a defective product, and whether the maker, American Home Products Corporation, doing business as Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories ("Wyeth"), is liable. The lawsuit involves a group of people, together called a "Class," that includes women who claim to be suffering, or have suffered from, adverse effects as a result of the Norplant(R) contraceptive implant, including changes or irregularities in menstrual bleeding, pain or itching at the implant site, infection at the implant site, removal difficulties, headaches, nervousness, nausea, dizziness, swelling near implant site, dermatitis, acne, change of appetite, breast pain, weight gain, or excessive body or facial hair and/or scalp hair loss. Class members must also either have had the implant surgically implanted or removed in Louisiana, or have been a Louisiana resident at the time it was implanted. The Norplant(R) contraceptive device was a prescription birth control implant in the form of "timed-release" rods that were surgically implanted below the skin of a woman's upper arm to provide birth control for up to five years. The Plaintiffs allege that women suffered adverse effects because the dosage was too high during the first 12-18 months, and that the Norplant(R) contraceptive device is a defective product as a result. Wyeth denies the claims and allegations in the lawsuit that the Norplant(R) contraceptive implant was defective or that it did anything wrong. The Court has not decided whether the Class or Wyeth is right. A trial is scheduled to begin on January 16, 2007. Notices informing people about their legal rights will be mailed, and are scheduled to appear in newspapers and other publications in Louisiana, and also in other states where Hurricane Katrina evacuees are now located. These law firms will represent Class members as "Class Counsel:" Darleen M. Jacobs, of New Orleans, LA; Roy F. Amedee, Jr., of Metairie, LA; Richard J. Arsenault, of Alexandria, LA; J. Robert Ates, of Destrehan, LA; Daniel E. Becnel, Jr., of Reserve, LA; Allan Berger, of New Orleans, LA; Terrill W. Boykin, of New Orleans, LA; Calvin C. Fayard, Jr., of Denham Springs, LA; Bruce Dean, of Metairie, LA; Linda S. Harang, of Jefferson, LA; Robert G. Harvey, of New Orleans, LA; Leonard L. Levenson, of New Orleans, LA; Stephen B. Murray, Sr., of New Orleans, LA; and George J.G. Roux, of New Orleans, LA. Class Counsel will apply to the Court for payment of their reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, either by Wyeth or from any funds recovered before distribution of the net proceeds to the Class. Women who wish to remain in the Class do not need to do anything at this time, and will be able to participate in any claims process for money or benefits that may result from the case. Class members will be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court. Women in the Class may exclude themselves from the Class. To do so, they must mail a written request that says they want to be excluded from the Class, and include their name, address, and signature. The exclusion request must be postmarked by December 15, 2006, and sent to Norplant Class Action, PO Box 1526, Denham Springs, LA 70727. Women who exclude themselves from the Class cannot get any money or benefits from the case, and will not be bound by any Court orders or judgments. The lawsuit is known as Davis, et al v. American Home Products Corporation d/b/a Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, No. 94-11684. For more information and to get a detailed notice of the class action, Class members may call toll-free 1-877-664-1434, write to the above address, or visit the website at www.norplantcase.com.
SOURCE The Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Louisiana