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Many women who have been implanted with the birth control IUD Paragard have suffered a broad range of problems caused by its side effects.
Plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit claim that the grievous wounds they had to endure were due to birth control products being defective and prone to breakage, fractures, ectopic pregnancy and other complications.
If you or a loved one are among the unfortunate women who suffered an injury after receiving a Paragard IUD implant for preventing pregnancy, you can be eligible for compensation.
Paragard is a type of long-term birth control method known as an intrauterine device (IUD). A copper wire is coiled around a T-shaped plastic base, which is then inserted into a woman’s uterus by a doctor. Paragard is a medical device that prevents pregnancy with alleged effectiveness of 99%, and it does so by slowly releasing copper over a total of 10 years.
Once the metal reaches the uterine cavity, it interferes with the fertilization of the egg by blocking sperm movement transportation after intercourse. Since the metal is somewhat toxic, it also causes an inflammatory reaction that prevents implantation of the egg, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is not one of its side effects or complications, but the very method through which Paragard is preventing pregnancy by stopping egg fertilization.
There are two different models of Paragard: the Copper 380 Slimline and the Copper 380A. The device is manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals, which released it into the American market in 1988.
According to some recent lawsuits brought to the attention of the court, the Paragard intrauterine contraceptive device is prone to breaking inside the body of the woman who had it implanted. This may lead to the device embedding inside the uterus, perforating it and causing serious injuries to the patient due to fragment migration.
Many reported that the device can also break during the removal procedure and that the broken pieces must be painfully removed one by one with a complicated surgery to avoid organ damage.
In some instances, the fragments can become embedded so deeply inside the woman’s tissues that a full hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is required, with devastating psychological and physical consequences.
If a Paragard IUD breaks, there’s a risk of additional side effects such as infection, scarring, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and ectopic pregnancy as well. This type of pregnancy occurs outside the uterus, most often in a fallopian tube. Since the fetus cannot develop normally, it may cause potentially lethal internal bleeding in the mother and must be removed as urgently as possible.
Paragard isn’t the only dangerous IUD device that hit the American market. Mirena, another similar device manufactured by Bayer, has been associated with a staggering amount of complications and adverse reports (nearly 50,000) since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it back in 2000.
Although Mirena’s contraceptive power is based on a different principle (it is not a copper coil but slowly releases small quantities of levonorgestrel in the bloodstream), this alternative device is no less dangerous. In fact, even this T-shaped device may detach from its position, causing gruesome organ injuries such as the perforation of the fallopian tubes or the uterus. Mirena is also associated with another serious condition known as pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), which is not a brain tumor but a form of brain injury.
The main difference between Paragard and Mirena is that the first one is the only copper IUD device available in the market, and it doesn’t contain any hormones. This birth control device is made of metal instead of plastic and acts by releasing copper rather than synthetic progestin hormones. Paragard lasts 10 years – twice the 5 years of Mirena’s duration.
Currently, attorneys try to hold Teva Pharmaceuticals liable for the injuries sustained by the plaintiffs. Lawyers accuse the pharmaceutical company of releasing a defective medical device to the market, and being negligent in warning the public about its potential dangers. However, the Paragard mass tort is still in its early stages, so no multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been centralized yet.
On the other hand, due to the large number of women who got injured by Mirena, a lot of lawsuits already reached the federal courts of various districts. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated them into the MDL No. 2434 in the Southern District of New York back in 2017. Given the striking similarity between this product’s MDL and the Paragard lawsuits, it is likely that a new IUD lawsuit MDL will be centralized as well.
According to the many claims filed in court, Teva was fully aware of the risks associated with the use or removal of Paragard, and willfully downplayed or ignored them. Although Paragard may have been portrayed as a safe method of birth control, data about its numerous complications such as breakage, ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease have never been was never fully disclosed. Attorneys allege that the manufacturer obtained plenty of information about the alleged dangers of the IUD device from both post-marketing experience, medical product safety network data, and clinical trials. However, they only cared about profit and never warned the women about the potentially serious risk of using Paragard for contraception, and never recalled it.
Unscrupulous companies such as Teva must be held liable for all the damage they caused to you or your loved one. Choosing to litigate is often the only way to seek justice. Depending on your case type, a lawyer will be available to help you receive adequate compensation for all your pain and suffering.
Right now, it’s hard to tell how much Teva Pharmaceuticals is going to pay if the mass tort is eventually settled. Usually, the manufacturers of allegedly defective devices offer an individual agreement to each injured victim only if the first few bellwether cases do not end in their favor. The Paragard lawsuit has not been centralized into an MDL yet, so there are no prior settlements to make a comparison.
However, due to the striking similarities with the Mirena litigation, we may expect the trials to end in a similar way. During the ongoing Mirena litigation, Bayer paid $12.2 million to settle devices migration cases in August 2017.
Even if your case is successful, and a court awards you with a reward, the individual payout you will receive may vary significantly. In a mass tort, each IUD lawsuit will be treated separately, and the compensation as well as the value of a claim will depend on the details of your particular situation. Usually, your lawyer will help you recover more if you suffered more economic, personal, physical or emotional damage. Factors such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of wages and medical expenses, all need to be estimated before your financial reward is calculated.