Paragard, a popular intrauterine birth control device, faces lawsuits from consumers who claim that the device broke, embedded, or caused metal poisoning by copper toxicity. The experienced defective medical device attorneys at David Randolph Smith are prepared to seek compensation on the behalf of patients who suffer injury from Paragard IUDs.
What is Paragard?
Paragard is the brand name of a contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD). The Paragard IUD is a copper-wrapped plastic device that intercepts sperm movement, preventing egg fertilization and consequent pregnancy. The device may be left in a patient’s uterus for up to ten years.
One of Paragard’s selling points is the allegedly easy, painless remove of the device. Unfortunately, recent lawsuits claim that the IUD is prone to breakage during removal, leading to painful fragmentation, migration, and potential infection.
Paragard Removal Risks
One 2015 study highlighted a number of potential risks of Paragard and other IUD devices. The study recorded different incidents of defective IUDs over a 3-year period at one gynecology clinic. Researches recorded numerous failed medical procedures involving defective IUDs, such as:
- IUD arm breakage during attempted removal
- IUD embeded in uterus
- Breakage of IUD ring strings during attempted removal
- Failed hysteroscopic removal (device unable to be removed
The study noted that Paragard devices tended to break near the flexible plastic arms, potentially leaving plastic fragments in the patient’s uterus that would need to be retrieved to prevent infection.
Additionally, the device may become embedded in the patient’s uterus over time. As Paragard claims that its devices can be left inside a patient for up to 10 years, it could be months or years before a patient discovers the device has become embedded.
Paragard Copper Toxicity
In addition to the risk of breakage or embedding during removal, Paragard lawsuits also allege that the IUDs may cause copper toxicity in patients after prolonged exposure to the device’s copper wire. Copper toxicity is a type of poisoning that can occur when excess copper builds up in the body over time.
Symptoms of copper toxicity include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Vomiting blood
- Abdominal pain
- Sudden mood changes or depression
When left untreated copper toxicity may lead to kidney problems, liver failure, heart failure, or permanent brain damage. Although more research is needed to determine the rates and risks of copper toxicity associated with Paragard IUDs, any Paragard patients who experience symptoms of copper toxicity should seek medical attention right away.
The Paragard lawsuits have been consolidated in the Northern District of Georgia as a multi-district litigation (MDL No. 2974) before Judge Leigh Martin May.
On July 7, 2022, Judge May issued a case management order, stating that:
1. Plaintiffs may file directly in the MDL pursuant to the Case Management Order Regarding Direct Filing [Doc. No. 129]. That order pertains to complaints brought against the following Defendants only: Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc; Teva Women’s Health, LLC; Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Productions R&D, Inc.; The Cooper Companies, Inc.; and/or Cooper/Surgical, Inc. If the plaintiff brings a complaint against any defendant other than the Defendants listed in the preceding sentence, that complaint may not be directly filed intoMDLNo. 2974.
2. After filing directly into the MDL, a plaintiff has one hundred twenty days (120) from the date his/her individual complaint is filed in MDL No. 2974 to serve a fully executed and complete Plaintiff Fact Sheet, “and duly executed authorizations.
March 2023 Update
In video below, we provide the latest updates on the Paragard IUD litigation as of March 2023.
If you or a loved one have experienced breakage, tearing, migration, or infection while using a Paragard IUD, call the defective medical device lawyers at DRS Law for a free consultation.