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Paragard Lawsuits May Be Consolidated in Multidistrict Litigation

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

The growing number of Paragard lawsuits has compelled the women injured by the contraceptive device to petition to have their civil lawsuits consolidated before one U.S. District Judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

ParaGard is a copper intrauterine device (IUD), which is implanted into the uterus to provide long-term birth control up to 10 years. It involves a T-shaped plastic frame that is wrapped in copper wire coils, which is designed to produce an inflammatory reaction in the uterus that is toxic to sperm and prevents pregnancy.

While the copper IID is intended to be easily removable and allow women to conceive after it is explanted, dozens of lawsuits are now being filed by women who indicate that the Paragard broke during explant procedures, causing severe internal injuries and often resulting in the need for a total hysterectomy or other invasive surgical procedures that impact their ability to have children in the future.

There are currently at least 55 complaints pending in 29 different U.S. District Courts nationwide, each involving nearly identical allegations that the Paragard IUD is unreasonably dangerous and defective, since it is prone to fracturing during removal in some cases.

In spite of mounting Paragard lawsuits and the public’s growing awareness that the contraceptive device is unsafe, the federal government has gradually increased the time in which the Paragard device may be implanted. The ParaGard T-380A IUD was launched onto the market in 1984 and was initially approved for up to four (4) years of continuous use. In 1989, ParaGard was approved for up to six (6) years of continuous use and in 1991, ParaGard was approved for up to eight (8) years of use. In 1994, ParaGard was approved for up to ten (10) years and remains to date, approved for up to ten (10) years of continuous use. Such approvals fly in the face of evidence that the copper device becomes more brittle and more difficult to remove with the passage of time.

Paragard lawsuits are now being considered for consolidation in an MDL for purposes of discovery and consistent rulings from the court. 

In a motion to transfer filed on September 24, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) was asked to centralize cases brought throughout the federal court system before one judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for pretrial proceedings to avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different courts, avoid duplicative discovery and serve the convenience of common witnesses, parties and the judicial system.

The motion notes that the cases are closely related, share the same Defendants and theories of liability, and none of the cases have made substantial progress towards trial.  The manufacturer has not yet responded to the motion, but the U.S. JPML is likely to consider oral argument from various parties involved during an upcoming hearing session scheduled for December 3, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas.

Currently, many women have begun to speak with law firms to discuss their options concerning filing Paragard lawsuits. If you’ve suffered a Paragard injury, now is possibly the best time to speak with an experienced attorney who has experience representing women harmed by dangerous medical devices. I’ve successfully represented women in talcum powder cases and vaginal mesh lawsuits. If you’d like to speak with me to discuss your situation, please call my office at 212-684-1880 or use our contact form. I can help you determine if a lawsuit is the best course of action for you. And if it is, I will proudly stand by you as I have for all my clients in the past 25 years.

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