Paragard, a popular intrauterine device (IUD), remains for sale in the marketplace and has not been subject to any recalls by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Recently, this contraceptive method has come under fire from various claimants, arguing that the Cooper Companies, the manufacturer of the IUD, does not provide adequate warning about the device’s potential to break apart inside the body.
If you or a loved one suffered health complications from using Paragard, you may have the basis of a civil action. You may be able to file an independent lawsuit or file with others in any evolving mass torts.
Manufacturers Initiate Recalls for Unsafe Products
According to the FDA, the removal of a product from the consumer market, known as a recall, is a process that can be categorized into two divisions:
- Voluntary recall. This occurs when a manufacturer or distributor recalls a product from the market in an attempt to protect the public’s health after becoming aware of various health risks. When issuing a recall, this type is the most common, as companies want to protect themselves from liability.
- Mandatory recall. These actions are conducted by the FDA after a product’s manufacturer or distributor fails to issue a voluntary recall. Though rare, this occurs when a product has been shown to cause harm but was not taken off the market by its company.
So far, the Paragard IUD has not been recalled in any form. There are many reasons why a product manufacturer may be hesitant to issue a recall.
These reasons may include:
- A significant loss resulting from manufactured yet unsold products.Financial loss while the product has been recalled and new devices are not being manufactured and sold.
- A blow to the company’s reputation that makes consumers wary of purchasing their products, despite being re-manufactured.
- The perception that a recall is an admission of fault that makes the company open to potential lawsuits.
The fact that the Paragard IUD remains available for purchase does not have any bearing on the device’s potential for danger or your ability to move forward with legal action.
The Paragard IUD Could Be Recalled in the Future
Paragard is not the first intrauterine contraceptive to have been scrutinized for its side effects and health risks.
The History of IUD Recalls
The Washington Post reports that other devices, especially in the case of the Dalkon Shield, carry the possibility of significant risks that can cause lifelong health complications. The Dalkon Shield was an IUD that rose to prominence in the 1970s, which ultimately proved to cause infertility, sepsis, pelvic inflammation, and miscarriage. Before its official recall by the FDA in 1980, it resulted in the deaths of over 20 women.
More recently, in 2011, GYN Disposables recalled one of their IUDs because the product was potentially ineffective, as stated by the FDA.
Time will tell if the Paragard IUD is ultimately recalled from the market. Yet, for the time being, this does not minimize any of the potential dangers associated with this contraceptive device.
Infections and Injuries Linked to the Paragard IUD
When you had your Paragard IUD implanted, you likely had terms such as “birth control” and “long-lasting contraception” in mind. If you had instead considered other elements associated with the Paragard IUD, such as “pelvic inflammatory disease” or “infertility,” you may have thought twice about this option. Just like many other forms of family planning, Paragard is not exempt from its own host of side effects.
Per the Cleveland Clinic, most IUD insertions are done safely and successfully. If you experience side effects, they are likely to be mild and include:
- Pain during the insertion
- Irregular menstrual bleeding
However, there are cases where something goes wrong during or after the insertion, resulting in more serious side effects. They include:
- The development of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is a potentially serious condition that can lead to scarring in the reproductive system, which, if untreated, could lead to infertility.
- The IUD puncturing the uterine wall and nearby organs.
- Emergency surgery to extract the IUD (whether the device is intact or broken).
- Serious infections.
If you develop any adverse health outcomes because of your Paragard IUD device, there may be numerous individuals who may be responsible for failing to prevent your condition. A lawyer can help you sort through the legal process that could lead to you obtaining compensation for your losses.
Who Should You Sue After a Paragard Injury?
One of the benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your case is that they can help you figure out who to sue after a Paragard injury. Depending on how your injury occurred, you may be able to file suit against one or more of the following:
- Your doctor, if they failed to warn you about the potential risks of using Paragard or did not insert it properly
- The manufacturer who created the product and continues to sell it despite knowing of the potential risks
- The distributor who gets the product into customers’ hands and fails to include adequate warning labels on the product packaging
Your attorney can prove the liable party’s or parties’ guilt by collecting evidence from your medical records, the liable party’s records, and more.
Determining Your Settlement
Once you notify the liable party about your lawsuit, they may offer you a settlement right away. However, this may be a lowball settlement, designed to make your case “go away” without regard for your true financial needs.
Before you accept any settlement offers, it is a good idea to let your lawyer figure out how much you are entitled to collect in both economic and non-economic damages.
Your Economic Damages
IUD injuries can end up costing you a lot of money due to:
- Medical expenses, including surgical removal and pain medication
- Loss of wages from taking days off to recover from your injuries
- Other expenses related to hiring people to take care of your home or children as you recover
These and other financial losses could make you eligible for economic damages. Your lawyer can collect pay stubs, bills, receipts, and medical records to show how much you should ask for.
Your Non-Economic Damages
Physical and mental injuries can be just as debilitating—and sometimes even more so—than financial losses. You could qualify for compensation based on:
- Scar tissue
- Emotional distress or trauma
- Physical pain and suffering
- Permanent health effects, such as infertility
- Negative changes to your relationship with family members
While it is often more difficult to quantify non-economic damages than economic damages, it is far from impossible. A defective device attorney can fight to ensure that you receive the proper amount in compensation for all of your damages.
Call a Lawyer to Discuss Your Paragard IUD Injury
Injury or infection caused by complications related to a Paragard IUD can be debilitating. You may have already endured diagnostic procedures, surgeries, hospital stays, and other negative consequences affecting your quality of life.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we advocate on behalf of claimants who have been injured by defective products. If you were not fully informed of Paragard’s ability to cause health complications, you may be able to seek financial recovery for your injuries.
Our team can help you in several ways, including but not limited to:
- Speaking with you in person or by phone to record an official account of how your injury or infection occurred
- Assessing your case with the help of medical experts, who will look specifically for causation of your injury or infection
- Collecting and organizing any evidence of negligence
- Obtaining your medical records to prove that your condition was caused by your method of contraception
- Completing all of the legal steps necessary for your case to reach a conclusion
- Defending your rights and privacy throughout the legal process
Get Started With a Free Consultation
Paragard has not been recalled, but that does not mean it did not cause you harm. If you were injured by a Paragard IUD, you have rights, including the right to file a lawsuit against those responsible for your suffering. You may be able to collect various forms of compensation if your case is successful.
Our goal is to pursue financial recovery on your behalf. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine team today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case review.
We Can Help.