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March 20, 2008

Lawsuit alleges wrongful death of a 32-year-old mother using NuvaRing contraceptive

Motley Rice LLC and D'Arcy, Johnson, Shober & Hassell, P.C., have filed a wrongful death and survival action against the makers, manufacturers, distributors and marketers of the contraceptive NuvaRing® alleging that the defendants' negligent acts and omissions contributed to the death of 32-year-old Jackie Kelly Bozicev. This action is brought by Robert Bozicev, the widower and Executor of the Estate of Jackie K. Bozicev.

According to the complaint, filed in Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex County, the defendants allegedly knew that NuvaRing® was dangerous and ineffective but concealed those dangers and health risks from plaintiff-decedent Bozicev, physicians, pharmacists, other medical providers, the FDA and the public at large. Additionally, it alleges that they made misrepresentations to plaintiff-decedent Bozicev, her physicians, pharmacists, hospitals and medical providers and the general public with full knowledge of the health risks associated with NuvaRing® and failed to issue adequate warnings when they manufactured, marketed, promoted, developed, sold and/or distributed NuvaRing® for routine use.

Named defendants include Organon USA, Inc., Organon Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Organon International, Inc., Akzo Nobel NV, Organon Biosciences, N.V., and Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP). The Organon defendants manufactured and sold NuvaRing®. Schering-Plough purchased Organon USA, Inc., in 2007.

"Mr. Bozicev lost his young wife and has been left to raise his young children without her. We realize we cannot bring Jackie back, but we do believe that by bringing this case to court and to the public's attention, we can help prevent additional unnecessary loss of life," Motley Rice attorney Carmen S. Scott stated.

Bozicev was prescribed NuvaRing® by her OB/GYN in May 2007. On December 7, 2007, Bozicev experienced a seizure in front of her husband and child. She was transported via ambulance to Community Medical Center in Toms River, NJ. While being transported she reported difficulty breathing and then became unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the emergency room. Her autopsy revealed the cause of the death as massive pulmonary thromboemboli due to deep vein thrombosis in the pelvic veins. The Bozicevs married in 2001 and had two children together. At the time of their mother's death, the oldest child was two years old and youngest was 7 months old.

NuvaRing® is a combination therapy vaginal ring contraceptive that prevents pregnancy by releasing the drugs etonogestrel (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen) near the cervix. NuvaRing® works by preventing ovulation and inhibiting sperm penetration. NuvaRing® was approved for use in the United States on October 3, 2001, and is the only hormonal vaginal ring contraceptive of its type. Hormonal contraceptives may enter a woman's body in many different ways, among them orally, vaginally, transdermally, or through injections or implants. The oral method, introduced in 1960, was the first of its kind. Over 50 lawsuits associated with the use of NuvaRing® have been filed. NuvaRing® has not yet been made subject to a recall by the FDA.
"More than 38 million women in the U.S. ages 15-44 are using some form of contraceptive. They have a right to know the potential risks they incur when taking contraceptives. Manufacturers should disclose all of the important facts about the safety of their product, not just the ones that help their product sell," said attorney Andrew D'Arcy. "We believe that the manufacturers of NuvaRing® targeted marketing and promotional efforts with specific populations of young women without communicating the lack of thorough research on vaginal contraceptives."

For more information on this case, contact Carmen S. Scott at +1 800.768.4026.