Last month, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia agreed to the transfer of dozens of lawsuits filed over the Paragard T 380A intrauterine birth control device into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Despite opposition from Teva Pharmaceuticals and other defendants in the case, the MDL was assigned to Judge Leigh Martin May.
Judge May recently appointed Andy Childers as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel for MDL 2974, as well as appointing 22 other attorneys to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
Instead of thousands of individual cases going through the court system, an MDL allows one judge to make all the pretrial decisions for all the combined cases. Ultimately, a few cases, known as bellwether cases, will be tried in court. How these cases are decided will likely affect settlement negotiations in the remaining cases. The Paragard litigation is not a class action (a process which combines all the cases into one large case). Individual lawsuits have been consolidated into an MDL, which is a legal mechanism intended to speed up pretrial proceedings. In short, the MDL streamlines the litigation process.
The lawsuits allege that Paragard caused the plaintiffs to suffer inflammation, infection, scarring, organ damage, long-term infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and hysterectomy. Plaintiffs also claim that there was a risk of the device fracturing upon removal, and that Teva and the other manufacturers knowingly marketed the device as safe and easy to remove.
Paragard, approved by the FDA in 1984, is an intrauterine device (IUD) used by women for long-term birth control. Teva Pharmaceuticals manufactured the Paragard IUD and marketed it as a small, hormone-free, flexible, and soft device that is over 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. For those wanting to avoid hormones, the device utilizes copper to produce an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs. Paragard is the only copper IUD available in the U.S., and the company claims it can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years after insertion.
The Paragard T 380A IUD remains on the market, despite lawsuit allegations that it is a dangerous and defective medical device. One batch of the device was recalled in 2019 due to sterility, not breakage, issues.
If you have experienced injuries caused by a Paragard IUD, give us a call for a free case consultation. If you would prefer, you can also submit a request on our contact us page. Provide as much information you feel is necessary, click submit, and we will be in touch after review.