The Paragard IUD is one of the greatest advances in women’s health history. It allows users the peace of mind that comes along with a constant form of birth control, without having to worry about taking a pill, changing a patch, or going in for an injection. The Paragard version of the IUD (intrauterine device) is the only form of birth control completely free of hormones. It uses copper as the main ingredient to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years and is 99% effective. Various other benefits include that it can be removed anytime, used while breast-feeding, and lacks the side effects, such as blood clots, that are found in more traditional hormonal methods.
So what’s the problem with Paragard IUDs?
As it turns out, dozens of women have been seriously injured by their Paragard IUDs. Possible dangerous side effects include:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Attachment to or piercing of the uterus
- Life-threatening pregnancy with cases of infertility or miscarriage
Many women have recently come forward with allegations against Teva Pharmaceuticals, which owned Paragard from 2008-2017, claiming that their IUDs broke apart inside them during the removal process, which is supposed to be quick and painless.
Lawsuits allege that pieces of the device embedded in the uterine wall, in many cases resulting in the injuries listed above. Attorneys involved in the cases allege that the plastic “arms” of the device harden over time, loses flexibility, and makes it easier for them to snap when removed. One woman said that when she had hers removed, it broke apart into several pieces, causing her “significant bodily injuries.”
There is an entire Facebook page where women share their personal horror stories with the Paragard IUD. One victim, Melissa Petro, shared her story and said she was never made aware of the device’s serious risks. A few years after she got her IUD, Petro had been experiencing bleeding during intercourse and decided to get it removed just to be safe. Her device was found to have migrated out of its proper spot inside of her, but because fertility wasn’t an issue for her at the time, she took her doctor’s advice to leave it in. Four years later, when Petro got married and wanted to start a family, she discovered that a part of the device had become embedded in her uterine lining. Her doctor was fortunately able to remove it and she did get pregnant, but many stories like hers don’t have as happy of an ending.
These cases are far from unique. Since 2010, the FDA, which first approved Paragard’s version of the IUD in 1984, has received more than 1,600 complaints from healthcare providers, detailing adverse events (serious injuries) that occurred well before the device’s supposed 10-year lifespan expired. With hundreds more on the way, there are currently 55 cases across the United States pending against TEVA and the current owners of the Paragard device, The Cooper Companies.
Paragard Cases Are Being Consolidated
Since there is a large number of Paragard lawsuits, they have been consolidated into an MDL (multidistrict litigation). The lawsuits claim that TEVA manufactured a defective device and did not warn physicians about its risk of breaking apart during removal. Instead, Paragard IUD was marketed as “easy and safe” to remove. Injuries claimed by plaintiffs include broken pieces, partial or full device expulsion, hysterectomies, scarring and damage to other organs, and even death.
An MDL is designed for cases where all of the plaintiffs are claiming injury from the same entity or product. Using an MDL for Paragard victims ensures that all pre-trial proceedings will happen in just one court. This would improve efficiency and possibly result in a mass settlement that will benefit all the victims more than individual cases would.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury because of a Paragard IUD, there are steps you can take to obtain proper compensation. You could be eligible to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and permanent injury. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to be successful in representing yourself in such a case.
The experienced legal team at Childers, Schlueter and Smith believes in advocating for women across the country. We will give you a free evaluation and consultation for your potential case. Then we will fight for the maximum amount of damages you are rightfully owed. Chat with us online, use our contact form or give us a call at 1-800-641-0098. Don’t suffer in silence. Get the help you deserve today.
At Childers, Schlueter & Smith, our attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of personal injury and/or those who have lost a loved one to wrongful death determine their legal options. We are a distinguished law firm that is driven by years of experience and exceptional results. If you or someone you know has been injured due to another’s negligence, please contact our firm to discuss your legal options.