There has been a lot of discussion in the media and between lawyers about the birth control device, Paragard. The Paragard IUD is allegedly causing many women injuries upon removal resulting in serious permanent injuries. Because of this, many lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers, Cooper Surgical and Teva Pharmaceuticals, for the alleged injuries.
What is Paragard?
Paragard is a long intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) used by women to prevent pregnancy. It is the only IUD on the market that is hormone-free and it claims it prevents pregnancy up to ten years. It is a T-shaped device made primarily of plastic and copper that is placed into a woman’s uterus during an office visit.
Because it is hormone-free, the copper acts as the “active ingredient” in preventing pregnancy instead of hormones. The copper wire produces an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs making it a successful contraceptive.
This is a popular option for women because it is very effective, lasts a long time, and is hormone-free. The Paragard IUD has grown in popularity in the past 5 years, in fact, around 4.4 million or 7.8% of all U.S. women have IUDS and 12% of women who use contraceptives have IUDs.
Paragard states to not use their product if:
- Might be pregnant
- If your uterus is an abnormal shape
- Develop a pelvic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or have current behavior that puts you at high risk of PID
- Have had an infection in your uterus after a pregnancy or abortion in the past 3 months
- Develop cancer of the uterus or cervix
- Have unexplained bleeding from your vagina
- Get an infection in your cervix
- Have Wilson’s disease
- Are allergic to anything in Paragard
- Already have an IUD in your uterus
Paragard’s advertised possible side effects include:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Difficult Removals
How is Paragard Possibly Harmful?
In addition to the possible side effects, there have been multiple reports of severe injury due to the actual removal of the device, not the device being implanted. Because of this, Paragard is being accused of possibly causing many injuries. These injuries include:
- IUD “stuck” in the uterus
- Perforation of the uterus
- Migration of the device
- Device breakage leading to surgery
- Copper wire left behind in the body, potentially causing inflammation and injury
- Organ damage
- Ectopic pregnancy
There have been reports of additional surgeries that must be done in order to completely remove the device in addition to the injuries. For example:
- C-Section– some women are having to undergo C-section surgery in order to remove pieces that have broken off inside the uterus
- Hysterectomy– because of excessive damage that might be caused, the uterus is removed causing permanent infertility
The Paragard Lawsuit
Many women are seeking financial compensation from the makers of Paragard for multiple injury claims. There are currently no voluntary recall or FDA issued recalls on Paragard at this moment. Because Paragard is in the early stages, so there is currently no centralized multidistrict litigation (MDL) yet.
Paragard’s original manufacturer was Teva Pharmaceuticals, but then Cooper Surgical bought them out. Because the lawsuits are individual and not an MDL, women are filing against both companies for different lawsuits.
There are a few grounds for the Paragard lawsuit that victims are claiming against the makers of Paragard. Some of the liabilities people are claiming are:
- Defective design: Most IUD’s have a T-shaped design, which poses a risk for one or both arms breaking off during insertion or removal.
- Manufacturing defect: Because of the fragile materials, it can cause the device to possibly break.
- Failing to warn: This is the most common claim within the Paragard lawsuits. The warning label on Paragard does not provide solid instructions about the removal process, where is where we see the most breakage and complications.
- Negligence: Because the makers of Paragard should issue a well designed and well-made device, they have breached that duty by providing a device that is potentially easy to break off
Were You Affected?
If you have severe injuries or had to undergo additional surgery to get a Paragard IUD removed, you may qualify for compensation. The compensation you may qualify for from your injuries include:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Pain and suffering
In order to qualify for the Paragard lawsuit, attorneys may ask some of the following questions:
- Did you have an injury because of Paragard?
- Did one arm or both arms of the IUD break?
- Do you, or did you, need surgery due to breakage?
Though the Paragard IUD lawsuit is not in an MDL yet, it is important to find proper legal representation. You will need an attorney experienced in product liability and mass tort cases. It is important to find an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation and aid you deserve. If you want to learn more about how mass torts work, read our article where we break everything down for you in simple terms.