Widower says NuvaRing caused wife's injuries, death

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 17, 2014

NEW CUMBERLAND - A widower is suing the makers of NuvaRing after he claims it caused his late wife's fatal injuries.

Merck & Co.; Merck Sharpe & Dohme; and Organon USA Inc. were all named as defendants in the suit. 

Prior to her death, Jennifer Martin Kmetz was prescribed NuvaRing birth control by her gynecological group and was not properly warned of the dangers in causing severe blood clotting and venous thrombosis , as well as other deadly medical conditions, according to a complaint filed May 6 in Hancock Circuit Court.

Joseph Kmetz Jr., Jennifer Kmetz's husband, claims she died on June 15, 2012, of a massive pulmonary embolism associated with deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities, all of which was directly and proximately caused by the use of the NuvaRing.

At the time of her death, Jennifer Kmetz was survived by her husband and two children, aged 7 and 1, and was employed full-time as a registered nurse, earning approximately $60,000 per year in income for her family, according to the suit.

Joseph Kmetz claims the defendants manufactured, designed, distributed, sold, supplied and/or placed NuvaRing into the stream of commerce, which was defective in its design and construction.

As a direct and proximate result of the defendants' unreasonably dangerous product, Jennifer Kmetz sustained fatal injuries and suffered during her lifetime from excruciating pain and physical and mental distress from the onset of her injuries until her death, according to the suit.

Joseph Kmetz claims he and their children suffered economic harm, including loss of income and medical expenses; and non-economic harm, including loss of spousal and filial consortium, advice, guidance, love, protection and services; and emotional distress.

The defendants breached their express warranties and implied warranties and were negligent, according to the suit.

Joseph Kmetz claims the defendants had a duty to exercise reasonable care in the design, manufacture, sale and/or distribution of NuvaRing and a duty to assure that its product did not pose a significantly increased risk of bodily harm and adverse events.

The defendants failed to exercise ordinary care in the design, formulation, manufacture, sale, testing, quality assurance, quality control, labeling, marketing, promotions and distribution of NuvaRing, according to the suit.

Joseph Kmetz is seeking compensatory damages in an amount in excess of $25,000; and punitive damages.

He is being represented by Michael Edward Nogay of Sellitti Nogay & McCune PLLC. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James P. Mazzone.

Hancock Circuit Court case number: 14-C-69


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