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ST. LOUIS — At age 17, La Monica Greene began using a novel contraceptive device. The St. Louis teenager had obtained a prescription for NuvaRing — a vaginal, once-a-month birth control ring.

Several weeks later, she died.

Her mother, Monica Greene, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the manufacturers and sellers of NuvaRing, which include Dutch and U.S. companies now owned by New Jersey-based Merck.

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