Paragard IUD Lawsuit: An Informational Overview

Read the latest on the Paragard Intrauterine Device Lawsuits

The Paragard Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a popular choice for women who want to be on long-term birth control. However, in the last few years, there has been a huge uptick in lawsuits filed against Paragard’s manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, because of claims that the device causes serious complications and injuries. In this article, we will provide an in-depth look at the Paragard IUD, the reason for the lawsuits, the allegations, and what you can do if you were injured because of a Paragard IUD.

woman in pain from Paragard IUD - Paragard IUD Lawsuit

Women’s Prefered Methods of Birth Control

In the US, 65% of women aged 15–49 in the United States are currently using contraception. There are a lot of options when it comes to preventing an unwanted pregnancy in America, and they vary quite a lot from method to method.

Here are the most commonly used birth control methods in the US, according to the CDC:

  • Female sterilization, aka “tubes tied” (permanent method)
  • Oral contraceptive pill (hormone-based)
  • Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) like IUDs and implants (come in hormone-based and copper options)
  • Male condoms (barrier method)

There's no single "best" method. Some are perfectly safe, some are super reliable, and some are inconvenient. Because of this, women often have to make a decision that is right for them based on the following factors.

  • Desire for future pregnancy
  • Effectiveness rate
  • Potential side effects
  • Frequency of sex
  • Need for STI protection
  • Ease of use or convenience
  • Safety of method

The most common contraceptive methods that women choose are sterilization (18.1%), oral contraceptive pills (14.0%), long-acting implant contraceptives (10.4%), and require the man to use a condom (8.4%).

However, among women between 20 and 39, which is the most fertile period and common age range to have a baby, implants like Paragard’s IUD are most popular. 

What is the Paragard IUD?

visual of a defective Paragard IUD - Paragard IUD Lawsuit

The Paragard IUD is a small, T-shaped device made of plastic and wrapped in copper wire. The copper wire actually acts as a natural spermicide, killing any sperm that moves past it. Since the Paragard IUD is inserted into the uterus, all sperm has to pass it to make their way to the eggs. This provides women with contraception for up to ten years. 

IUDs (intrauterine devices) are also called IUCs (intrauterine contraception).

There are only five IUDs approved by the FDA for use in America. Four of them are hormonal IUDs, which use a slow release of hormones more similar to a birth control pill. 

Those four are Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla.

The only copper IUD is the device in question, Paragard.

Unlike hormonal IUDs, Paragard relies on copper to prevent pregnancy, making it a popular option for women. There is no messing with your hormones, it’s reversible, convenient, and it’s a pretty basic and understandable product. 

Paragard is also a highly effective form of contraception. In fact, Paragard is 99% effective, which is the same as a condom if they are used perfectly; in real-world situations, a condom’s effectiveness is in the 80s.

Basically, it’s perfectly effective, donesnt require daily maintenance, and it’s reversible. Sounds perfect, right?

The Lawsuits Against Paragard

Despite its benefits, Paragard has come under fire because of reports from women and doctors that say the device can cause severe complications. 

Thousands of Paragard lawsuits have been filed across the country because of claims that the device caused them serious injuries, particularly during removal.

The basis of the allegations in the Paragard lawsuits involves the device breaking, perforation, migration, infection, and scarring. 

Device Breakage

One of the primary allegations in the Paragard lawsuits is that the device breaks during removal. Plaintiffs claim that the Paragard IUD often breaks into fragments when a healthcare provider attempts to remove it, which leaves pieces still inside their uterus. This can lead to severe pain, heavy bleeding, and the need for additional surgeries to recover the broken parts.

Perforation

Perforation is another serious issue that has been referenced in some of the Paragard lawsuits. In these allegations, Paragard IUDs can perforate the uterine wall when it is being inserted or removed, and in some cases, when it is just sitting in position. If a woman experiences a Paragard IUD device perforation, it usually requires surgery to correct and can result in long-term damage to reproductive organs, severe pain, and other health complications. 

Migration

Perforation can lead to the device migrating outside the uterus and into other areas of the woman’s body, most commonly the pelvis or abdomen. Migration of the Paragard IUD is a significant problem for lots of plaintiffs, according to all the lawsuits. Migration can cause severe pain and organ damage and requires complex surgical procedures to locate and remove the device.

If the Paragard IUD moves, it can also lead to unintended pregnancies, which contributes to the growing number of lawsuits against the manufacturer for failing to warn about this risk.

Infection

Infection is another one of the allegations in the Paragard lawsuits. Some lawsuits claim that the IUDs caused serious infections in the pelvic region and in the blood as the infection spread. Infections like this can be very painful and cause long-term reproductive health issues. 

The lawsuits argue that users were not adequately informed about the risks of infection.

Scarring

The formation of scar tissue in the uterus is one of the most serious allegations in the Paragard lawsuits. Plaintiffs claim that during insertion, or whole the IUD was inside them, it caused scarring to their uterine lining. According to the lawsuits, this scarring has led to chronic pain, fertility issues, and complications in future pregnancies.

These risks were allegedly not disclosed to users well enough or not at all, which we cover below.

doctor inserting Paragard IUD - Paragard IUD Lawsuit

Allegations Against Teva Pharmaceuticals

Plaintiffs in the Paragard lawsuits allege that the maker of Paragard, Teva Pharmaceuticals, failed to warn users about the risks associated with the device. The main allegations in the Paragard lawsuits are failure to warn, defective design, and negligence.

  • Failure to Warn: Plaintiffs claim that the manufacturer did not provide sufficient warnings about the potential for the device to break during removal or the possibility of pain, health risks, or major complications.
  • Defective Design: Many of the lawsuits also claim that the design of Paragard is inherently flawed because it is prone to breaking and causing injuries.
  • Negligence: Finally, plaintiffs also claim Teva Pharmaceuticals was negligent for failing to adequately test their products and for not continuing to monitor the product to make sure that it continued to be safe. 

The allegations and lawsuits surrounding Paragard have raised significant concerns among women who have used the IUD device. The potential for severe complications and the ensuing legal battles emphasize the importance of informed decision-making regarding contraceptive choices and gender biases in healthcare.

Paragard Lawsuit Settlements and Proceedings

As of now, the Paragard lawsuits are in various stages of litigation. Most of these cases have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation or MDL along with other similar complaints. An MDL is a legal concept that combines similar lawsuits from many different states into a single federal case. This helps in efficiently managing complex cases by centralizing them under one court, streamlines the process, and prevents contradictory decisions.

The Paragard MDL was created in December 2020 and is being overseen by Judge Leigh Martin May in the Northern District of Georgia.

While some cases may stay in their own state and be settled or go to trial, or they may be added to the MDL and go through the process.

During the MDL process, there is something called bellwether trials which act as test trials. If these test trials go well for the plaintiffs, it can cause Teva’s lawyers to want to settle.

Settlements can provide quicker resolutions for plaintiffs and help Teva Pharmaceuticals save litigation costs.

There haven't been any major announcements regarding settlements yet. However, a settlement mediator was appointed in February 2023, which could be a sign of potential negotiations.

The first bellwether trial is scheduled for October 28, 2024

As of May 18, 2024, the Paragard IUD MDL has about 2,650 cases consolidated, and the number of pending cases continues to grow. 

nurse holding defective Paragard IUD - Paragard IUD Lawsuit

Hiring a Paragard Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

If you are considering legal action against Teva Pharmaceuticals, it is essential that you speak to an attorney who is used to handling major pharmaceutical lawsuits. 

The legal partners of Lawsuit Legal News have tried cases against some of the biggest companies and pharmaceutical corporations in America. They have held them accountable in state and federal lawsuits, handled sensitive and complicated cases, and helped thousands of people get the justice and compensation they need to rebuild their lives.

Some of the giant drug and medical device companies, insurance giants, and international corporations they have held accountable include Uber, Lyft, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Dupont, Geico, State Farm, Progressive, Dow, Bayer, Unilever, Pfizer, and Procter & Gamble. Many of these companies have faced accountability at their behest more than once.

If you need additional information on filing a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals for a Paragard injury, use LLN’s online contact form.

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