Over 100 cases against the Paragard IUD (Intrauterine device) manufacturers have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Georgia since December 2020. What does this mean for women who have been injured by a Paragard IUD?
The Paragard IUD is marketed as an easy, safe and effective form of birth control. It’s a small device made of plastic which is then partially wrapped in copper. A Paragard is inserted by a healthcare professional and is intended to provide up to 10 years of continuous birth control. Paragard is the only IUD made with copper rather than including hormones, making it an attractive option for women concerned about added hormones in their bodies. Paragard has been marketed by multiple entities through the years, including Duramed Pharmaceuticals (and related entities) from 2005-2008, Teva Pharmaceuticals (and related entities) from 2008-2017, and CooperSurgical (and related entities) from 2017 through the present.
Unfortunately, since the FDA first approved the device in 1984, numerous complaints have been filed by healthcare providers, detailing serious injuries suffered by their patients. The Paragard lawsuits detail regular occurrences of the device breaking apart into pieces while inside women’s bodies, often during removal. In some cases, these pieces have become embedded in or perforated the uterus. This has caused victims serious injuries, including severe abdominal pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, infection, infertility, damage to other organs, and even forced hysterectomies (removing the uterus, making it impossible for women to conceive) or death. These breakages typically occur well before the device’s 10-year lifespan.
The lawsuits claim that the defendant drug companies knowingly marketed a defective IUD and failed to inform physicians of the true risks associated with Paragard. Attorneys successfully had the cases consolidated into an MDL in December 2020, which means discovery and other case management in all of the cases will occur in Judge Leigh Martin May’s court in the Northern District of Georgia.
What Is Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)?
Multidistrict litigation was created in 1968 by Congress in order to better organize complex federal litigation filed in many different districts. Best used for civil lawsuits involving products or events that injure large numbers of people, like the Paragard suits, an MDL transfers all cases pending in federal courts around the country into one court. This court is managed by one judge, who handles all pre-trial discovery and other pre-trial proceedings, saving the parties and the court time and money. Some types of cases that have turned into MDLs include:
- Dangerous drugs/defective devices (like Paragard)
- Airplane crashes
- Intellectual property infringement
- Asbestos-mesothelioma cases
- Roundup cancer cases
The MDL court may dismiss certain claims or entire cases in the Paragard MDL before scheduling a select few “bellwether” trials, which are meant to give the parties some direction as to juries will likely rule in individual suits.
The parties met with Judge May for the first time this morning (2/9/2021), and are in the process of working out the discovery schedule and other issues on which the court will likely rule in the next few months.
If you or a loved one have experienced a similar type of injury while using a Paragard IUD, you don’t have to suffer alone or go without the compensation you deserve. The experienced legal team at Childers, Schlueter and Smith believes in aggressive representation and advocating for women across the country. We can give you a free case evaluation and consultation to ensure that you have a legal claim. You can chat with us online anytime, use our contact form or give us a call at 1-800-641-0098.
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.