Stephens and Stephens Paragard Lawsuit Attorneys represent victims of Paragard injuries. Paragard birth control intrauterine device (IUD) has been available in the market since 1988 and was approved by the FDA in 1984. The device is designed to remain in the uterus for up to 10 years and can be removed at will through a simple procedure. However, there are instances when a part of the device detaches during removal and remains in the body, leading to complications that require surgery and other treatment procedures.
Victims of defective Paragard IUDs are filing lawsuits against the product’s former and current manufacturers, Teva Industries and Cooper Surgicals, seeking compensation for injuries they sustained from using the device. Plaintiffs in the Paraguard lawsuit claim that the IUD has a manufacturing and design defect, and the labeling doesn’t warn about possible breakage during removal.
Between 2013 and 2021, the FDA received 3186 voluntary reports of Paragard IUD breakage, with 1910 reports deemed serious and 102 life-threatening cases that required hospitalization. In 2022, 934 device breakage incidences were reported to the FDA. Based on this number, the Paragard litigation is likely to grow to thousands of cases by the time it goes to trial.
About the Paragard Lawsuit
The Paragard lawsuits are product liability claims alleging that defects in the Paragard IUD design caused injuries to users. The cases are also based on “failure to warn,” claiming that the product manufacturer did not alert patients of the potential risks of the device breakage and the possible outcomes. There are also allegations of negligence in that the manufacturer didn’t pay much attention to the effects the product would have on the consumer.
In December 2020, numerous Paragard lawsuits were consolidated in MDL 2974 in Georgia, and over 1780 cases were pending in the MDL as of May 2023. The first bellwether trials are scheduled for 2024, but there is hope for the parties to reach a settlement before then. Bellwether trials are essential as the outcomes will provide a basis for determining and evaluating a fair global settlement value.
The Paragard MDL was created in September 2021 in the Northern District of Georgia under Judge Leigh Martin May, and all cases in federal courts were transferred. The MDL faced a lot of opposition from defendants who unsuccessfully filed motions for dismissal of the lawsuits based on federal preemption.
In January 2023, Judge Martin May formally appointed M. Gino Brogdon Sr., a retired Atlanta Judge, as the mediator tasked with overseeing talks between the parties for possible global settlement negotiations.
In February, the Paragard MDL Judge established a procedure for choosing ten representative cases for the first bellwether trials in March 2024. All parties would choose three cases, and the plaintiffs and defendants would get one veto. The ten selected cases will go through discovery, and three will go for the first round of bellwether test trials. Each party (plaintiffs, defendants, and the court) will pick one case for this first round of test trials.
In the bellwether trial case selection, the judge was particular about the quality of cases that would go for the test trial, devising an approach that would be fair to both parties.
The defendants are likely to settle some of the strong cases before trial to avoid a jury verdict and reduce the potential payouts.
Paraguard lawsuit January 2024 updates
As of January 2024, there were 2,416 pending cases in MDL 2974 before Judge Leigh Martin May in the Northern District of Georgia. The process for selecting the ten bellwether trial cases is ongoing, and the test trials are scheduled for October 2024. The discovery process is underway with plaintiff and witness depositions preceding the expert witness depositions.
Who can file a Paragard lawsuit?
People who qualify for a Paragard lawsuit must have medical evidence and documentation to prove that they suffered complications arising from a broken Paragard IUD, requiring extensive medical treatment and procedures. For one to file a Paragard lawsuit, they:
- Must have used the Paragard IUD for birth control.
- The Paragard device must have been removed within ten years of implantation.
- The Paragard IUD must have broken in the body before or during removal.
The statute of limitations may apply in filing a Paragard lawsuit. If you used the IUD for birth control and it broke inside the uterus or during removal, you might be entitled to compensation. Reach out to our Paragard attorneys, and we will review your case.
What is Paragard IUD?
Paragard is a T-shaped nonhormonal IUD that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to ten years. The device is highly preferred by women because it does not contain any hormones. It is designed with a copper wire coil wrapped around a plastic T-shaped apparatus. The copper prevents pregnancy by releasing copper ions or particles that are toxic to sperm and ovum, triggering an inflammatory effect.
Paragard is the only FDA-authorized copper IUD in the US. The device’s T-shaped plastic frames are made of polyethylene and barium sulfate. It also has two monofilament polyethylene threads tied to it to help in detection and removal. This IUD is said to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancies, as only four out of 1000 women using the device get pregnant.
Paragard breakage during removal
Paragard is designed for removal from the body at any time, remaining intact in the uterus and through the removal process. The design defects have led to the IUD breaking inside the uterus, with some pieces remaining inside after removal. During removal, the doctor locates and pulls the device using the special thread that remains hanging from the base to the user’s vagina.
The base has two flexible arms, making the T shape, and they help hold the device in place. Also, during removal, the two plastic arms fold by bending upwards, allowing the device to exit the cervix easily. Over time, the flexible plastic arms may become brittle and reduce their flexibility, causing the device to break during removal. In some cases, one or both arms of the device fragment and remain inside the body, leading to internal injuries.
The pieces that remain inside the woman’s body can be embedded in the uterine wall, leading to extreme and chronic pains. In most cases, these fragments puncture through the walls of the uterus, affecting other nearby organs and causing complications. The affected person experiences:
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Vaginal bleeding
The broken Paragard IUD fragments can be removed through a hysteroscopy procedure. This medical procedure entails the insertion of an endoscopic camera device through the cervix to locate the pieces and try to remove them. The procedure is only successful if the device has not yet been embedded into the uterine wall.
If the broken Paragard IUD is not located through the hysteroscopy, doctors can try other, more advanced procedures. They can perform a C-section surgery whereby they open up the uterine cavity to remove the broken IUD pieces. If they don’t find it then, or if the woman incurs severe complications, they can opt for a hysterectomy, which leaves her sterile. Due to these adverse effects, the plaintiffs filing Paragard lawsuits allege that the device is defective, extremely dangerous, unsafe, and unfit for women.
Injuries named in the Paragard lawsuits
The lawsuits allege that Paragard IUDs injured them in the following ways:
- Caused them perforations in the uterus and cervix
- The IUD migrated, leading to inflammation and allergic reactions
- They have missing IUDs still embedded in their bodies
- The IUD became logged in other organs, leading to other complications, and cannot be removed
- The broken IUD caused then infertility, infections, and pain
- Others had to undergo surgical procedures to remove the broken Paragard pieces. These include hysterectomy, laparoscopy or laparotomy, and other treatments to treat resulting complications.
If you experienced complications from using Paragard IUD, you could be eligible for compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
The device manufacturers claim that the product removal is simply carried out within minutes during a routine doctor’s visit without the need for surgery. In their removal instructions, the manufacturer explains that the device arms are supposed to fold up during removal, which is not always the case.
What are the Paragard payout amounts?
There have not been any known Paragard settlements yet. We can only estimate possible payouts based on the history of similar mass torts. If the litigation reaches a global settlement, the amount the jury awards to a plaintiff will depend on the severity of damages they incurred from the broken Paragard IUD and their age. Those who sustained life-changing damages such as infertility are likely to receive the highest settlements. Women who had to undergo surgeries to remove the broken IUD are also likely to receive relatively high settlements. Finally, those who experienced discomfort and recovered quickly will likely receive the least settlements. The average settlements are likely to range between $200,000 and $25,000. With the highest receiving up to $200,000 and the least below $25,000.
Stephens and Stephens Paragard attorneys
Have you or a loved one suffered injuries from the defective Paragard birth control? Contact Stephens and Stephens Paragard attorneys for a free case evaluation. Our services are contingency-based!