We opt for birth control methods because of one major reason: preventing pregnancy. But what if your contraceptive fails to perform its purpose and leaves you instead with the risk of unintended pregnancy?
Plaintiffs who have filed a Paragard IUD lawsuit are all too familiar with these frustrations. Although the copper intrauterine device is more notorious for breaking during removal, there have also been cases where the IUD becomes dislodged or expelled from the uterus and loses its contraceptive abilities.
A pregnancy that occurs with an IUD is more likely to be ectopic. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants itself somewhere outside the woman’s uterus. Without prompt intervention, this can be dangerous for the mother. And no one deserves to go through all these when all they wanted was to prevent pregnancy in the first place.
Thankfully, the law has provided us with instruments that we can use to pursue legal action against medical device providers and drug companies if contraceptives that were supposed to prevent pregnancy fail to work as they should.
Read the article to learn more about your legal options if you’re faced with this situation.
What would cause an IUD to fail?
Intrauterine devices are plastic, T-shaped devices inserted by a doctor or nurse into the uterus. Although known for being one of the most effective reversible methods of contraception, the IUD can still fail in rare cases.
Some reasons for IUD failure include:
- IUD expulsion
- Improper insertion
- Uterine abnormality
In some cases, an IUD may come out of the uterus. It can fall out partially or completely. It’s not always clear why device expulsion occurs. However, the risk of an IUD falling out is higher during your period. 10% of women also experience this during the first year of receiving an IUD.
One way to make sure that the IUD is still in place is by checking your IUD strings every after your monthly period. If the strings are visible, it can be removed to reduce the risk of other complications.
A certain amount of spotting and bleeding are normal after getting your IUD. However, heavy or abnormal bleeding could mean it’s in the wrong spot. If you have a malpositioned IUD, you could get pregnant.
It’s also possible for the device to come out of place without any warning signs. An ultrasound examination will usually show if the IUD is indeed in an improper position.
The structure of the body differs from person to person. That said, uteruses can also come in different sizes, shapes, and positions.
Uterine abnormality means your uterus is formed in an unusual way before you were even born. Many women have a womb that’s shaped differently but are unaware of it as symptoms aren’t always present with the condition.
Someone with a uterus that’s smaller than the average, differently shaped or positioned may be at an increased risk for IUD failure. This is because if the device is not in its proper position, it may have reduced effectiveness or it may be more likely to fall out of the uterus.
Can I sue if my IUD fails?
The short answer? Yes.
If you had a Paragard IUD — or any other IUDs for that matter — and were injured or suffered from complications as a result, you may indeed sue.
In fact, under state and federal laws, you can file a claim to seek compensation for your injuries against the current and former manufacturer of the potentially defective medical device.
In particular, if your IUD fails, the risk of being pregnant goes up. And if you do conceive while on the IUD, it’s more likely to be an ectopic pregnancy. Without prompt treatment, this type of pregnancy can be a medical emergency.
During the first trimester, ectopic or extrauterine pregnancy is the most common cause of deaths in pregnant women. Moreover, it’s also fatal for the fetus as it cannot survive outside of the uterus.
The most common complication from the condition is fallopian tube rupture. As the pregnancy grows, the tube may burst and may result in major internal bleeding. The resulting blood loss could then cause hypovolemic shock and may lead to organ failure and death.
IUD claims filed against the makers of the birth control devices fall under the umbrella of product liability lawsuits. These lawsuits aim to hold manufacturers liable for injuries and complications caused by their products.
Under product liability law, makers of medical devices have a duty to ensure that their products are safe to use for patients. And if a manufacturer breaches this duty, it can be held liable for injuries that result from its defective medical device. A faulty product may have a manufacturing defect, design defect, or a defective warning.
In the case of Paragard IUD, cases have been filed against Teva Pharmaceuticals, The Cooper Companies, and other companies that have manufactured the device. Plaintiffs allege that Paragard has a dangerous design defect and this flaw caused the product to easily break during removal.
In addition, many claims also argue that manufacturers and distributors of the product failed to meet their duty of warning consumers about the risk of breakage. Patients claim they were unaware of the risks that come with Paragard use even though their doctors were informed.
But Paragard is far from being the only controversial IUD that’s at the center of lawsuits. The Mirena IUD, a hormonal birth control device, has also been the subject of lawsuits filed across the country. Plaintiffs who have filed a Mirena lawsuit allege that Bayer Pharmaceuticals hid dangerous side effects and made a defective product.
Thousands of women say that the Mirena IUD caused uterine perforation and pseudotumor cerebri — an abnormal pressure buildup in the skull. These women also say that the complications they suffered resulted in diminished quality of life and that they now live in constant fear of future complications.
A medical malpractice claim refers to a claim of negligence committed by a professional healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, physician, hospital or hospital worker. This claim occurs when the failure of a medical professional to perform his or her duties resulted in harm to a patient.
Just like manufacturers, healthcare providers also have the duty to disclose information about the risks of a device. If they fail to inform patients about the dangers associated with the product, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
For instance, if a healthcare provider inserted the IUD improperly or failed to disclose the complications and risks associated with Paragard, they may be held liable for the resulting injuries.
Do you want to pursue legal action?
If you or a loved one recently got an IUD and you suspect that it has been displaced, consult your doctor immediately. If that’s indeed the case, then your IUD may fail, losing its contraceptive abilities and you may be at a higher risk for unwanted pregnancy.
After consulting your doctor, you can talk to a personal injury lawyer if you want to take legal action against the manufacturer of the IUD. But the clock is ticking. Your state’s statute of limitations limits the time you have to file your claim.
It’s important to consult a lawyer right away to start that process. You can contact us today and we will put you in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you recover the compensation you justly deserve.