The outlook of women regarding their careers and family has changed in recent years, leading to the demand for long-term contraceptives. No matter what the reason she has for delaying childbirth, she has the right to use an effective and safe contraceptive device to safeguard her health.
When the most trusted and advertised as the most effective, non-invasive, and long-term contraceptive IUDs endanger the lives of women, what can they do other than sue the negligent people? That’s what we see in the emergence of the IUD ParaGard lawsuits.
Are you one among those unfortunate women? Guidance of an experienced lawyer can propel your claim in the proper direction to get reparation. He or she will work in collaboration with top-notch medical record review companies to gig out the valid evidence from your medical records to win your claim.
History of IUD ParaGard Lawsuits in the United States
ParaGard IUD is not the only brand that faces IUD lawsuits in America. The history goes back to 1970, showing many other contraceptive device lawsuits. Let’s see some of them to get a clear idea about the origin of such kinds of pharma litigations.
Within 15 years of its official launch in 1971, the now-defunct Dalkon Shield IUD became the focus of one of the largest medical mass torts in American history. Approximately 200,000 women claimed that the Dalkon Shield’s design caused pelvic inflammatory disease, infections, and other fatal complications.
There have been numerous reports of incorrect IUD placement, IUD failure, infections, and pregnancy.
According to reports, more than a dozen women died after miscarrying while still wearing a Dalkon IUD. In a ridiculously priced media campaign, the company even advised women to have their IUDs removed. TIME reported in 1984 that hundreds of women had their IUDs removed, and its manufacturer, A.H. Robins Company, offered to pay their bills.
In the aftermath, the company went bankrupt, paying nearly $3 billion by the time the trust was established to compensate victims closed in 2000. The failure of the Dalkon Shield IUDs had a significant role in diminishing the sale of IUDs in the U.S. market in the mid-1980s.
In the late 1980s, G.D. Searle & Co. settled hundreds of claims from women who claimed the company’s Copper-7 IUD caused pelvic inflammations, ectopic pregnancies, uterine perforation, and, in certain cases, infertility.
Despite the fact that the IUD’s manufacturer denied the women’s claims, Searle recalled the device from the market in 1986 in response to hundreds of lawsuits. The Copper-7 was one of the most extensively used IUDs in the country before being phased out within 12 years of its introduction.
In Kociemba v. G. D. Searle case, the plaintiff Ms. Kociemba claimed that the Copper-7 IUD caused infections that made her infertile. A Minnesota jury awarded her $8,750,000 in September 1989. It included $8,000,000 in punitive damages and the remainder in compensatory damages.
The second bellwether case with the plaintiff McCarthy was settled confidentially before the closing argument. In the summer of 1989, the company settled all of its existing copper 7 IUD lawsuits.
The use of Mirena IUDs increased in the early 2000s, along with the number of reports from women who claimed their device moved and ruptured their uterine walls. Other women claimed Mirena caused intracranial hypertension (IIH), among other severe health effects.
The Mirena lawsuits allege that Bayer Pharmaceuticals had hidden the side effects of the IUDs, used deceptive advertising, and made a defective device that landed the women’s lives at risk.
In 2018, Bayer offered to settle only the 4,600 perforation lawsuits under the federal multidistrict litigations (MDLs) for $12.2 million. In the most recent pseudotumor cerebri Mirena lawsuits, MDL 2767, the women claim that Mirena caused pseudotumor cerebri. This term refers to a “false brain tumor.”
Unlike perforation or migration claimed for the physical damage, these claims blame the hormone levonorgestrel contained within Mirena, causing pseudotumor cerebri.
What is IUD ParaGard?
ParaGard is a type of intrauterine medical device (IUD) that is used as a birth control device in women. It is non-invasive during implant and removal and can be used as a temporary contraceptive device. It is said to be safe to use for up to ten years. The thread at the bottom of the T-shaped device will be helpful when removing the device at any time one needs, with the help of an obstetrician.
Other IUDs that contain hormones and drugs work by preventing sperms and eggs from entering the uterus. The ParaGard IUD, on the other hand, is the only non-hormonal IUD that has copper coils wrapped around the small ‘T’ shaped plastic made of polyethylene and barium sulfate. When placed in a woman’s uterus, the copper reacts with the body, causing it to produce chemicals that prevent conception.
ParaGard IUD Complications
The common concomitant side effects of the ParaGard are anemia, backaches, dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, leukorrhea, prolonged menstrual flow, menstrual spotting, pain, and cramping, urticarial allergic skin reaction, vaginal discharge, and vaginitis.
However, many women who used the ParaGard T 380A IUDs experienced problems such as the device becoming embedded in the uterus, uterine wall perforation, device movement or migration causing organ damage, device breakage during removal, scarring inside the uterus, inflammation, and injury from copper left in the body and the need for a hysterectomy or uterus removal.
When compared to other types of IUDs, many users of Paragard IUDs experienced device expulsion.
According to one study, 10.2 percent of women who used copper IUDs experienced expulsion or the device moving out of place or completely out of the body, compared to only 4.9 percent of Mirena users. Whether complete or partial, expulsion may necessitate surgery to remove the entire device, rendering the birth control ineffective.
The FDA received nearly 40,000 reports on Paragard in the FAERS (FDA Adverse Event Reporting System) database, with more than 15,600 involving serious complications such as ectopic pregnancy, broken IUDs, organ damage, and hysterectomies, and other surgeries to remove the IUD.
They received over 7,000 reports of adverse effects in 2019 alone. The FDA has received reports of the deaths of approximately 15 women who used the ParaGard IUD.
Many women have undergone surgeries like Hysteroscopy, Laparoscopy, Laparotomy, or Hysterectomy (done after a uterine rupture) after the complications they encountered due to ParaGard IUDs. All these complications ensued in a plethora of IUD ParaGard lawsuits all over the U.S.
However, there has been no ParaGard IUD recall so far, and they are still on the shelves for sale.
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History of IUD ParaGard Lawsuits
The ParaGard IUDs were first manufactured by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and were approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 1984. They had marketed two different models of the IUDs – the Copper 380 Slimline and the Copper 380A.
Teva recalled two batches of ParaGard IUDs in April 2014, following reports of women losing their fertility after using the devices.
They faced the first IUD ParaGard lawsuit in 2016 when a woman from Nebraska pursued a lawsuit for a failed IUD. At the time of removal, the device was found broken, and pieces of the device remained inside her uterus.
Though she claimed that the manufacturer was negligent and did not warn, the case was dismissed in 2018, saying that the risks were explained in the package insert.
Being burdened by around $35 billion in debt and facing the IUD ParaGard lawsuits, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries proceeded with the divestment plan by selling the production unit of ParaGard IUDs to a unit of Cooper Cos COO.N in September 2017.
In November 2017, Teva sold its assets and the manufacturing facility in Buffalo, New York, for $1 billion.
Evolution of IUD ParaGard Lawsuits
In 2018, Melissa Arias of Louisiana filed an IUD ParaGard lawsuit claiming that the device broke inside her uterus and remained in the lower uterine segment at the time of the removal, causing irreparable damage to her reproductive organs. Plaintiff underwent a robotic-assisted total laparoscopic hysterectomy on May 17, 2017, to remove the remaining embedded arm of the Paragard.
In September 2020, Georgia Bowers filed a claim suit against Teva and Cooper Surgical for the device breakage inside the body. The IUD was found incorrectly positioned in the uterus, and it broke upon removal as per the removal instructions. Her physician’s attempt to remove the broken piece by colposcopy proved unsuccessful.
In September 2020, Carley Tredway sued Teva and Coopers for the same reason as Ms. Bowers. However, her physician was able to remove the broken arm of the IUD through a hysteroscopy.
Both the IUD ParaGard lawsuits alleged that the manufacturers failed to warn the consumers and doctors of the risk of device breakage upon removal and their negligence in contributing to the injury of the plaintiffs.
By this time, the manufacturers started facing a lot of device migration and perforation lawsuits filed against them, alleging that the manufacturers failed to warn the consumers of the risks of their products.
Proceedings of IUD ParaGard Lawsuits
Usually, all the individual mass tort litigations filed in federal court would be consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) designated by a multidistrict litigation judicial panel (JPML).
They would transfer all of the cases to a single federal district court for the MDL, and a judge would be assigned to handle all of the claims concurrently. Normally, the MDL would go through a series of proceedings such as pleadings, discovery, motions, and bellwether trials.
The bellwether trials are the test trials to determine the viability and value of each individual ParaGard pregnancy lawsuit. Simultaneously, similar claims filed in state court would be combined and handled by a specific state court in parallel to the MDL.
All of the IUD ParaGard lawsuits were consolidated in December 2020 as an MDL (MDL 2974) in the Northern District of Georgia, presided over by the United States District Court Judge Leigh Martin May.
The IUD ParaGard lawsuits filed in state courts were consolidated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania.
The ParaGard MDL judge supervises the consolidated group discovery between the plaintiffs and the defendants during the discovery phase, which lasts 16 to 18 months. As you are aware, the focus of the discovery phase is on the design flaw in the ParaGard IUD and the fact that the manufacturers were aware of the flaw.
In mid-2021, the company brought a motion to dismiss all the pending federal IUD ParaGard lawsuits. However, the judge denied the motion in November 2021 and was keen on scheduling the first bellwether trial.
A small batch of copper IUD lawsuits selected by the plaintiffs and defendants would be selected as bellwether lawsuits. The outcomes of these bellwether test trials are then used to facilitate a negotiated resolution of all remaining cases in the MDL.
If the first two bellwether trials in the Paragard MDL result in verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs, the defendants will definitely seek a global settlement of the remaining claims.
As per the latest update in the mid of May 2022, there are 1121 ParaGard IUD migration lawsuits pending in the federal courts. Every month a few new IUD ParaGard lawsuits are transferred into the federal MDL.
Though the speed of the new lawsuits entering the MDL has slowed down a little, still many women are coming up with reports of their suffering due to the defective IUDs.
The news that the bellwether trials are slated to commence in 2023 is giving hope to the plaintiffs and their attorneys that it will produce some positive outcomes.
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ParaGard IUD Lawsuits Update 2023
Even in 2022, the FDA has received around 1,000 adverse event reports about IUD device breakage and its complications. Experts think there will be a huge inflow of IUD ParaGard lawsuits in 2023.
As of January 2023, there are 1577 pending IUD ParaGard lawsuits in the MDL. The lesser number of lawsuits in the MDL brightens the hope of getting a better reparation for the victims. We are yet unsure how many new lawsuits are going to be added in 2023.
February 2023 Updates
With the addition of 105 new ParaGard lawsuits, the number of pending claims in the MDL has increased to 1,687 active cases. Following the holidays, there is an increase in the number of new ParaGard lawsuits filed in a month. As more adverse events are reported each month, experts believe the boom will last the entire year.
The federal judge ordered the process for selecting the cases for the first bellwether trials in 2024. Out of the 15 cases chosen by the plaintiffs, 10 cases will be sorted out for case-specific fact discovery. Finally, three from them will be chosen for the first bellwether trials scheduled to begin in March in Georgia.
The District Judge May scheduled the important dates for the first bellwether-related occurrences. They are
|July 28, 2023
|October 30, 2023
|Filing Daubert motions
|November 7, 2023
March 2023 Updates
Though there is a drop in the new cases being filed this month when compared to the 105 case, the previous month. With teh 34 new cases added this month, the total number in the MDL rise up to 1,716.
April 2023 Update
The total number of ParaGard cases in the MDL moves up to 1,780 with the addition of 64 new lawsuits. Since so many legal proceeding are on the way, the plaintiffs have to wait patientlu until 2024 for their cases to move towards trial.
May 2023 Updates
Judge May expects the settlement mediator, Gino Brogdon Sr., can be able to smoothen and quicken the settlement talks to propel the defendants and plaintiffs to reach an agreement on a resonable settlement.
In the first quarter of 2023, there was a steady growth in the filings of new ParaGard lawsuits to the MDL. However, the first half of May 2023 found a sudden flooding as more than 180 new claims were filed in the one month pewriod until May 15, bringing the total MDL claims to 1,966.
Initial pool of bellwether discovery cases were asked to be finalized and 44 new active cases were added making the total go beyond 2,000 claims.
All the plaintiffs were asked to submit plaintiff factsheets prior to November 4, 2022. However, over 6% of claimants have not submitted required Plaintiff Fact Sheets even after more than half a year period. The cases failing comply with the court orders were expected to be dismissed.
Over 100 ParaGard plaintiffs face dismissal for procedural non-compliance or lost contact with attorneys. The inflow of new ParaGard lawsuits have found a decline as only 31 new cases were added in August.
Amended Scheduling Order was issued, extending discovery and expert deadlines for the existing claims. Total cases reach 2,147, with 53 newly added IUD ParaGard claims. Judge sets a deadline for disclosure of adverse event documents and complaint files. Finally some good news for the plaintiffs as the first date for the bellwether trial is set on October 28, 2024. The slow pace of the MDL indicates that the settlement also will be delayed.
Focus of the ParaGard claims shift to case-specific fact discovery for bellwether test trials. Around 100 new cases were added, bringing the total to 2,246.
Non-compliant cases in the Plaintiff Fact Sheet process faced dismissal.
ParaGard IUD Lawsuits Update 2024
As of now the new filings have slowed down and only 37 new cases added, with 2,283 pending cases in the MDL. All eyes are set to the later half of 2024 as the bellwether trial date is set in October 2024.
As of February 2024, there are 2,444 pending lawsuits in the ParaGard MDL after an addition of 154 newly filed claims.
You will be given the latest IUD ParaGard lawsuit update 2024 whenever there is an announcement made. Stay with us to know more about this in 2024.
How Much Does the ParaGard Claim Worth?
We can’t count the chickens until they hatch. The IUD ParaGard lawsuits are still in their early stages, making it difficult to predict the outcome. Based on the outcomes of previous similar mass tort litigations, expert attorneys could estimate the ParaGard IUD lawsuit settlement amounts.
The IUD ParaGard lawsuits would be classified into tiers based on the severity of the injuries and damages.
Plaintiffs suffering from permanent and irreparable harm would be assigned to a higher tier and receive a larger settlement amount. Those who do not have permanent injuries but are in pain and suffering would be in the lower tier and would receive the smallest share.
The weakest cases with a lack of evidence will be removed from the MDL to ensure that the plaintiffs who had faced more damages get valuable compensation. Let’s see the speculated ParaGard lawsuit settlement amounts in the different tiers.
Though you cannot completely rely on the speculated settlement, the attorneys guarantee that the plaintiffs will receive a high reparation. The ParaGard IUD settlement could result in the largest payout in American history for a product liability claim.
When can I File an IUD ParaGard Lawsuit?
If you or your loved ones are harmed by the use of ParaGard IUDs and have permanent damages like organ removal or infertility, you can definitely look for an experienced ParaGard IUD lawsuit lawyer. Depending on the intensity of the damages, the lawyers would analyze the possibility of winning the claims.
To determine the strength of your claim, the attorneys will consider the following factors.
- Grounds for your preference for IUDs over other contraceptive methods
- If you are forced to remove your IUDs as a result of the expulsion
- Complications such as device breakage or migration during removal
- Had increased risk of ectopic pregnancy or unplanned pregnancy
- Infection caused by the device necessitates treatment like surgery
- If permanent damage like organ removal or infertility is caused
- If the IUD is subject to a product recall or safety alert
- Any warnings are given on the risk of the implanted IUD
According to the ParaGard IUD lawyers, the women who had encountered issues can pursue the claim for the following injuries.
- Ruptured uterus or cervix
- IUD device migration
- Inflammations and allergic reactions caused by IUD pieces left in the body
- Missing IUD pieces lodged in organs
- Need for surgery such as hysterectomy, laparoscopy, or laparotomy
- Long-lasting pain
- Impossibility of removing the broken pieces
- Death of the victim
The damages you can claim in an IUD ParaGard lawsuit are listed below.
- Past and present medical expenses
- Past and present lost wages
- Disability or permanent impairment
- Emotional distress
- Scars and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Long-term care
- Loss of consortium
What Strengthens my Paragard IUD Claim?
Remember the following facts when filing a powerful IUD ParaGard lawsuit on behalf of yourself or a loved one. A ParaGard IUD device should have been used by the victim. She should have had a surgical repair or organ removal procedure performed or scheduled.
The dates of IUD insertion and removal should have been included in the medical records. The obstetrician should have kept track of the issues she’d experienced as a result of the malfunctioning device on a regular basis.
Look for an experienced attorney who has handled similar cases. Discuss your case’s strengths and weaknesses with him. Gather all available evidence and turn it over to him. Never overlook any medical information pertaining to the subject complaint.
Even if your medical records are in heavy volumes, medical record review companies will churn out the vital documents that could boost your claim.
LezDo TechMed has extensive experience handling medical record reviews for mass tort claims, notably recent drug and device lawsuits. Your medical records will be safe in our hands because we strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations. We can assure you to find even the minute detail that could aid you in winning the compensation.
Get a Free Case Evaluation From a Lawyer
To wrap up,
Facing irreparable damages like losing fertility or organ removal and suffering unending woes can be a nightmare for a woman who aspires to have a family and kids. Losing someone dear to you to a defective ParaGard IUD would be traumatizing. Though lawsuits cannot bring back what you have lost, you can at least get restitution for the financial loss.
Brace yourself up and make the wrongdoers pay for their negligence. Though complicated, an IUD ParaGard lawsuit is not the sour grapes to stay away from. Proceed with the help of a skillful attorney and an adroit medical record review service to get the recompense.
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