A Simple Guide to Paragard Lawsuits and Settlements
Many women have turned to Paragard intrauterine devices (IUDs) for a non-hormonal form of birth control. However, defects in these devices can lead to serious health complications. The arms of the IUD, made with a T-shaped design, can break upon removal, requiring some women to undergo costly surgeries.
If you were harmed by one of these intrauterine devices, you may be wondering if there have been any Paragard settlements. These lawsuits are still pending, however, and settlements have not yet been announced. Still, you should know that you could seek compensation through a lawsuit. We’ve prepared this simple guide to Paragard lawsuits and settlements to help you understand more about your legal options. Read on to find out more.
Paragard IUDs Break and Lead to Health Problems, According to 3K Women
The Paragard IUD is T-shaped and made of plastic and copper wire. It is designed to be inserted into the uterus and removed by a doctor during a routine office exam. The manufacturer, CooperSurgical, Inc., claims Paragard is over 99% effective and a safe alternative to hormonal-based contraceptives. Mayo Clinic also describes many benefits of these devices: they can be removed anytime and stay in the uterus for 10 years.
However, thousands of women with these IUDs have observed the following defects upon attempting the devices’ removal:
- Breakage upon removal
- Broken arms of the IUD can travel and embed in the uterine wall
This can lead to a range of health complications, which can require additional medical attention.
Women may experience symptoms such as:
- Bleeding or spotting
- Organ perforation
To fully remove the broken IUD pieces left inside the body, women may need to undergo surgeries such as laparoscopy or laparotomy.
Other serious complications can result from Paragard use beyond those associated with breakage and removal. For instance, some women may experience ectopic pregnancies if they become pregnant with an IUD in place. If left unaddressed, this can be fatal.
FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) Shows the Extent of the Problem
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) keeps records of safety concerns for medical devices. The FDA’s FAERS system shows that tens of thousands of safety reports have been recorded for the Paragard T 380A device.
Since 1989, the FDA has received reports of:
- 43,230 device-related issues
- 18,085 reports of serious complications
- 15 death cases
Among the complications reported, the FDA notes that the following were the most common:
- Device expulsion (almost 27% of reports)
- Device dislocation (about 22% of reports)
- Device breakage (almost 10% of reports)
- Uterine disorder (almost 10% of reports)
- Pelvic pain (almost 9% of reports)
Lawsuits Claim That CooperSurgical Failed to Warn of These Risks
People who faced these and other complications with a Paragard IUD are accusing CooperSurgical, Inc., of releasing a defective device to the market. Plaintiffs also claim the company did not properly warn consumers of the device’s risks. After all, CooperSurgical marketed the device as easy to remove, yet many faced serious injury during the removal process. Injury victims have since filed nearly 1,000 lawsuits.
In December 2020, the Paragard lawsuits were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) action. Referred to as MDL 2974, the case will proceed before judge Leigh Martin May in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia. The first trials in the case are expected to begin in 2023.
Are Paragard Lawsuits Individual Lawsuits or Class Action Lawsuits?
Multidistrict litigation action is a type of mass tort that allows injury victims to bring their complaints against a single defendant for similar damages. The current Paragard MDL represents cases brought together from across the country.
While similar to a class action lawsuit, an MDL is unique in certain ways. For instance, plaintiffs will keep their individual lawsuits against CooperSurgical, Inc. However, the cases will be litigated under the umbrella of a single MDL action. This allows for a more streamlined process for the courts. It can also enhance the strength of individual lawsuits, as the large number of cases involved in an MDL can be evidence of their merit.
The first trials in the MDL are known as bellwether trials. These are viewed as test trials that can gauge the strength of the plaintiff’s arguments and types of compensation in the case. As mentioned, the first bellwether trials should begin in 2023.
Why File a Paragard Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit can take time, and you may even want to hire a Paragard lawsuit lawyer to get the best possible results from your case. However, by filing a lawsuit, you could seek several types of compensation for your injuries and damages. You can also seek justice for the harm you’ve faced because of CooperSurgical, Inc.’s carelessness.
You Can Recover Your Financial Losses
Dealing with the health complications of a broken IUD can be not only painful but costly. You can seek compensation for medical expenses such as:
- Surgeries needed to remove a broken IUD, such as laparoscopy, laparotomy, or a hysterectomy in the most serious cases
- Medications needed to treat your pain and other symptoms
- Emergency room treatment or follow-up doctor’s appointments
You may have required several other types of medical treatments to treat your Paragard injuries. These costs could be recoverable.
Also, you could face impacts on your career because of your injuries. You could recover your income losses, such as:
- Missed paychecks
- Reduced earning capacity if your injuries will harm your earning potential in the future
- Missed tips or bonuses
- Missed opportunities for promotions
You Can Recover Your Non-Financial Losses
Dealing with these health challenges can take its toll on your life and sense of well-being. In especially serious cases, such as if you had a hysterectomy or are now facing an infertility diagnosis, these injuries can be devastating.
You could recover compensation for these losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced enjoyment of life
Have There Been Any Settlements in the Paragard Lawsuits?
There have not been any settlements yet in the Paragard lawsuits. As mentioned above, the Paragard lawsuits have not yet gone to trial. Once the bellwether trials begin, plaintiffs will start to get a sense of what forms of compensation could be available in their own cases.
Am I Eligible to File a Paragard Lawsuit?
You could be able to file a Paragard lawsuit if you or your lawyer can show that:
- You were using a Paragard IUD as intended.
- The product’s defects directly caused your injuries and damages, such as medical bills.
This can be a tricky aspect of your case to prove, however. To be successful in your lawsuit, you will need to show a Paragard IUD directly caused your injuries. In other words, another health condition or another form of birth control cannot have been the cause of the injury.
If you are unsure whether you have a Paragard IUD or if your IUD caused your injury, an attorney can explain your eligibility to seek compensation.
What to Know About Hiring a Lawyer
While many women harmed by a Paragard device have legitimate claims for compensation, bringing a successful lawsuit can come with certain challenges. For one thing, CooperSurgical, Inc., is a major company that will likely bring significant legal resources to the table to defend itself against Paragard liability claims.
You may want to think about hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the legal process. A product liability lawyer can:
- Explain your legal options and tell you if you have a valid case
- Investigate your case and help you gather essential evidence
- Collect expert testimony to demonstrate that a Paragard IUD caused your injuries
- Communicate with all third parties in the case
- Represent you during litigation
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Keep you updated on all important developments in your case
A lawyer will also help you with any of the common roadblocks that mass tort plaintiffs can face. For example, the liable party may try to downplay your case by claiming:
- You were responsible for your injuries or were somehow negligent.
- Your injuries and medical bills aren’t as serious as you claim.
- Your injuries were not caused by a Paragard IUD, but instead, another health problem or pre-existing condition.
A lawyer with mass tort case experience will be familiar with these common challenges. They will know how to respond to unfair claims and demonstrate your right to seek compensation based on evidence.
Other Frequently Asked Questions in Paragard Lawsuits
Many questions are likely going through your mind if you are considering bringing a Paragard lawsuit, such as:
When Will There Be a Settlement and What Should I Expect?
There could be a settlement in the Paragard lawsuits once the trial in MDL 2974 begins. As mentioned previously in this guide, the bellwether trials for this case are expected to begin in 2023. If there is a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiffs—the injury victims in the case—then this could be a good indication that other plaintiffs could receive compensation in their lawsuits.
However, it is possible that CooperSurgical, Inc., could reach a settlement with the plaintiffs before these trials conclude. In some situations, the defendant will settle a lawsuit before the jury reaches a verdict in the case.
You should expect to get more information from your lawyer as the case progresses. They can keep you updated on any news, or any settlement offers in the case.
Can I Bring a Lawsuit After Losing a Loved One?
Yes, you could bring a lawsuit if your loved one passed away from injuries related to a Paragard IUD. Often, only close relatives (such as a spouse or a child) can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. You may be able to recover compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral expenses, income losses to your family, and emotional hardships related to your loss.
How Much Compensation Could I Get for My Case?
It’s not possible to predict exactly how much compensation you could receive in your case. Generally, the amount victims can receive will depend on factors such as:
- The strength of the case’s evidence
- The monetary amount of your medical bills and the seriousness of your injuries
- Whether the jury determines that CooperSurgical, Inc., was especially reckless or negligent
However, a previous settlement reached in the Mirena IUD lawsuit case against Bayer could indicate that a settlement is possible. In 2018, the company resolved 4,600 cases through a $12.2 million settlement.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
You may be able to get legal help without having to pay any upfront costs. Many injury lawyers taking mass tort cases work based on contingency fees. This fee structure allows injury victims to get started on a lawsuit without having to pay out of pocket. Instead, the plaintiff will pay any legal fees out of the final settlement or verdict amount received at the end of the case.
In a contingency-fee system, the lawyer will receive payment only if they help the victim win their case. This lightens the financial burden many people may be facing as they file a lawsuit for their injuries.
However, you should check with the law firm to be sure about how their contingency fees work and the percentage the lawyer will receive at the completion of the case.
Get Help With Your Paragard Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit while you’re facing painful injuries can be overwhelming. However, you can get legal help with your case. A Paragard Lawsuit lawyer can help you navigate the entire legal process from start to finish. They can also keep you updated and tell you if there have been any settlements in the Paragard lawsuit.
Many lawyers offer free case reviews. During your call, you can learn about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit and what next steps you could take. Fill out our contact form to connect with a lawyer in our network today.