Where Are the Paragard Lawsuits Being Filed?
All Paragard lawsuits filed in federal court were joined in an MDL in the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Georgia. Paragard lawsuits filed in state court were joined in Pennsylvania. Paragard is a type of birth control intrauterine device (IUD) that is implanted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. Some users have come forward with claims that the device has caused them serious harm.
If you or someone you know has dealt with an injury after receiving a Paragard implant, you might have been wondering where Paragard lawsuits are being filed. This page will provide you with details for Paragard lawsuits and where to get help with your case.
A Simple Guide to Paragard Lawsuits
Current Paragard lawsuits are a part of what is known as a mass tort lawsuit. Mass tort cases are consolidated into a single lawsuit that can be easily managed by a court.
Mass torts differ from class action lawsuits in the way that plaintiffs are treated – mass torts involve multiple plaintiffs filing against an at-fault party and are treated as individuals that will receive appropriate compensation for their specific damages. Class action plaintiffs are treated as a single entity that receives the same compensation.
In the case of Paragard’s mass tort, users are claiming they suffered injuries due to negligence on the part of the product’s manufacturer. To prepare for a Paragard lawsuit, there are four steps to follow:
- Get medical records confirming you received the Paragard IUD implant
- Identify the implant’s model number
- Identify the injury caused by the implant
- Contact an experienced Mass Tort lawsuit attorney to help you file
What Will a Lawyer Consider When Looking at My Case?
Most lawsuits filed against the Paragard IUD will be considered a negligence case on the part of the manufacturer, a personal injury case, or both. As such, your lawyer may investigate the following when determining if you are eligible to file a lawsuit:
- Why you chose the Paragard IUD over other forms of birth control
- Whether or not the device was removed prematurely and why
- Complications that arose during the removal of the device, like breakage
- If you were hospitalized for those complications or if you underwent surgery
- The severity and extent of your injuries
- If the model number was recalled or had safety alert issues
- What warnings you were given at the time of the device’s implantation
Am I Eligible to File a Claim?
If you were given a Paragard IUD and experienced a medical complication, you may be eligible to file a claim. The best way to find out if you qualify is to speak with an attorney who can evaluate your case and confirm your eligibility.
Sometimes it is difficult to know whether legal action should be pursued after a serious medical complication. Current lawsuits allege that manufacturers of Paragard failed to provide adequate information about all possible side effects.
This means that you may not have been given all the facts when you chose Paragard as your form of birth control. Do not hesitate to consult with a lawyer about your case before the statute of limitations runs out and you are no longer able to file a lawsuit.
What is the Statute of Limitations for the Paragard Lawsuit?
All lawsuits have a deadline. For Paragard lawsuits, in the case of negligence, this deadline depends on when your injuries were first discovered. The deadline for this would generally be about two years, but other circumstances can change this timeline.
If your injuries were not discovered for several years because they were not readily apparent, the statute of limitations will not “toll” (will not run out or begin) until you discover these injuries. However, knowingly concealing your knowledge of the injuries is not legal. You must be truthful in your discovery of the injuries before filing a lawsuit for the case to be valid.
Other things like a patient’s age (if they were under 18 at the time of the injury) or complications in the legal processes can change the time for the statute of limitations. Lawsuits that are filed after the applicable time frame for a statute of limitations are likely to be dismissed.
How Do You Prove Negligence?
To recover compensation in a Paragard lawsuit, you can claim negligence occurred. Even if a defect cannot be proven in the actual product, you can still claim that manufacturers were negligent in designing the device. You would do this by proving the following four elements:
- Paragard makers owed a duty to you to keep you safe
- Paragard makers breached this duty by not acting as a reasonable person would in making it
- You were injured by using the product
- You would not have been injured by the product if the makers had not been careless in manufacturing the device.
What is the Paragard Lawsuit About?
Currently, there are lawsuits alleging that Paragard’s manufacturer did not provide information about how frequently the IUDs can break, perforate, or migrate in the body. There is also no information on how long they remain effective and what complications could arise from their use either after its implantation or its removal.
A growing number of users have accused Paragard manufacturers of:
- Designing a dangerous and defective IUD
- Knowing about the risks associated with using Paragard
- Failing to adequately research those potential risks and complications
- Misrepresenting Paragard as a safe medical device
- Failing to warn users about the risk of breakage and other side effects of Paragard
In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) forced manufacturers to update its label with a “Warning and Precautions” section about the reported device breakage. Despite this change, many claim that this was not sufficient to warn women who already had the device in their bodies of the risks.
Examples of Previously Filed Lawsuits
Many Paragard cases have been filed, and the claims for each case are unique. Still, it is helpful to know about real Paragard lawsuits to get an understanding of how your case might relate and be handled in a court of law. In 2020, Georgia Bowers filed suit against the manufacturers of Paragard after her IUD removal procedure failed three years prior.
Her IUD had shifted in her uterus, and doctors attempted to retrieve the device but were only able to remove part of it. As a result, part of her Paragard implant remained inside her body, unable to be extracted safely by surgeons. Bowers’ lawsuit claimed that manufacturers were aware this was a possible adverse effect, which they failed to warn consumers of.
Carly Tredway’s Case
Carly Tredway made similar claims in 2018 when an arm of the IUD broke off in her uterus, which resulted in an emergency hysterectomy. Tredway’s lawsuit claims that had she never received the device, she would not have needed her hysterectomy. Many other cases have been reported to the FDA regarding health complications caused by faulty Paragard devices.
Due to these claims, the FDA sent a warning out to manufacturers in 2019, warning about the high health risk the device posed to its users.
Has Paragard Been Recalled by the FDA?
As of today, no formal recalls have been issued for Paragard IUDs. A small batch of specific models was voluntarily recalled by manufacturers in 2014, but this only included a small number of those made that year. Paragard remains readily available on the market. However, just because there is no FDA recall does not mean the devices will not be found faulty, nor does it mean that a lawsuit will be lost.
How Much Will Paragard Lawsuits Be Worth?
It is too early in the litigation to know how much settlements will amount to. A lawyer may be able to provide an estimate for your case based on the amounts of previous mass tort cases involving similar claims. However, this will be a tentative and cautioned estimate. Settlement values will vary depending on how serious an individual was injured because of using Paragard.
Potential Injuries Caused by Paragard IUDs
To qualify for a Paragard lawsuit, you must have suffered injuries caused by the device. Of the cases reported to the FDA for Paragard-related injuries, many were caused by the device breaking. Health problems reportedly caused by faulty or breaking Paragard devices have included:
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- Internal infections of the uterus, vaginal canal, and more
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Uterus migration
- Copper toxicity
- Internal bleeding
- Scarring in the uterus
- Damage to other internal organs
- Severe menstrual pain or heavy bleeding
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Spotting between periods and/or severe cramping
- Invasive surgery to remove all parts of the Paragard device
- A hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
Complications that caused previous health problems include:
- A fractured or broken Paragard IUD
- Allergic reactions to broken devices and copper levels caused by Paragard
- Permanent embedment of the IUD
- IUD migration
- Difficulty removing part of or all the device
- Pieces of the Paragard IUD were left embedded in the uterus
- Copper wire detaching from the device and remaining in the body
How Do I Know if I Am Having Health Issues Caused by My Paragard IUD?
The best way to know for certain if there are complications caused by your IUD is to visit the doctor. They can perform an exam and determine if the IUD is still in place or if you have any symptoms related to a faulty IUD.
A manual pelvic exam, an ultrasound, and an evaluation of your symptoms can be performed to check the placement of your Paragard IUD. Usually, the first sign that something is wrong is abdominal cramps, bleeding, or abdominal pain.
Who Manufactures the Paragard IUD?
Presently, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and CooperSurgical are the manufacturers of Paragard. Paragard was first approved by the FDA in 1984 for use by the public and has been manufactured by several other companies over the years, including Ortho-McNeil, GynoPharma, Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Barr Pharmaceuticals, and FEI Women’s Health.
Will My Doctor Be Sued for My Paragard Issues?
No, the fault of Paragard’s misuse is legally the fault of the manufacturing company, and your doctor will not be sued. Doctors act in accordance with what the FDA and medical manufacturers report to make healthcare decisions for their patients. If a company hides the side effects or defective devices, they are held liable.
Who Can Join the Paragard Lawsuit?
If you meet the following criteria, you can join the Paragard lawsuit:
- Currently or previously had a Paragard IUD inserted
- Must have previously or currently be scheduled for a removal surgery (even if you have not had the surgery, you may still be considered for compensation)
- Must have had a qualifying complication during or after the surgery or a related injury caused by the Paragard IUD.
If you have suffered a serious injury or complication from your Paragard IUD device or its removal, you may be entitled to compensation.
How Do I Join the Paragard Lawsuit?
Unlike class action lawsuits where you are automatically considered for compensation, mass tort lawsuits require individuals to consult with a Paragard mass tort lawyer to have their case brought forth. In many cases, firms will advertise their search for mass tort clients in specific cases.
When you file a claim for a mass tort lawsuit, your lawyer will be the point of reference. You can either contact a lawyer unconnected to the lawsuit or contact a lawyer directly attached to the case itself. The details of each case are considered and submitted as evidence for the lawsuit and are considered alongside other victims who experienced similar injuries.
There is no set time frame for mass tort lawsuits, as every case is unique with its own set of circumstances. Reviewing each case, the evidence, and hearing testimony is only a small part of the mass tort process.
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Speak with an experienced mass tort attorney to find out how your case can be handled as a part of a mass tort settlement. You can recover both economic and non-economic damages from a Paragard IUD lawsuit, including compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Surgery costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost work wages and ability to work
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium (caused by the loss of a loved one)