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Minnesota Woman Claims ParaGard IUD Broke Into Pieces Upon Removal

A Minnesota woman filed a new ParaGard IUD lawsuit on November 6, 2020. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota and involves allegations that the birth control device is defective and dangerous.

Plaintiff States ParaGard Broke Into Pieces Upon Removal

According to her complaint, the plaintiff was implanted with the ParaGard IUD on July 31, 2017. She chose the ParaGard because she wanted a form of birth control that was reversible and would allow her to conceive in the future.

The ParaGard IUD is a T-shaped plastic device made of polyethylene and barium sulfate. It has copper wire coiled around it, which produces an inflammatory reaction toxic to sperm and egg. Once the device is inserted into the uterus, this inflammatory reaction provides a hormone-free type of birth control that can last for up to 10 years.

Duramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. first developed the ParaGard, then Teva USA took it over in 2008 when it acquired Duramed through its purchase of Barr Pharmaceuticals. On September 11, 2017, Teva sold the ParaGard to The Cooper Companies, Inc., which currently manufactures the product.

The plaintiff states that around November 13, 2018, she went to have the device removed. Her doctor attempted to do so by following the instructions provided by the manufacturer—namely, by gabbing the strings attached to the device and pulling gently. Instead of coming out intact as was expected, the ParaGard broke apart and had to be removed in various pieces. As a result, the plaintiff claims to have suffered from significant bodily injuries.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants knew that the ParaGard could cause serious harm and that the arms could break upon removal, yet they took no action to adequately warn patients and doctors about the risks, nor did they try to remedy the defects.

Will ParaGard Lawsuits Be Centralized?

Many other women claim to have had experiences similar to that of the plaintiff’s, suffering from injuries caused by the ParaGard breaking upon removal. Some have had to undergo corrective surgical procedures to retrieve the pieces, including hysterectomy.

As more women come forward to file ParaGard lawsuits, the cases are mounting around the country. On September 24, 2020, one of those plaintiffs filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all of these cases into one court for more efficient pre-trial proceedings.

At that time, 55 cases were pending in 29 different judicial districts, all of them alleging similar wrongful conduct on the part of the ParaGard IUD manufacturers, but the plaintiff noted the likelihood “that hundreds of other actions will be filed” in the coming months. Because all of the actions arose out of the same facts and will involve the same or similar questions of act and law, consolidation would be appropriate, the plaintiff argued.

The JPML will hear arguments on the proposed consolidation on December 3, 2020.

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