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Paragard IUD manufacturers Teva Pharmaceuticals, Cooper Company, and Cooper Surgical don’t want Paragard lawsuits consolidated into one court. They have filed a response to the plaintiff’s motion to consolidate asking the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to reject that motion.

Plaintiff Files Motion to Consolidate Paragard Lawsuits

On September 24, 2020, a single plaintiff filed a motion with the JPML to consolidate all federally filed Paragard IUD lawsuits. She noted at the time that at least 55 actions were pending in 29 different judicial districts across the country, all alleging similar wrongful conduct on the part of the Defendants, which resulted in similar injuries. She also stated it was likely that hundreds of other actions would be filed in the coming months.

According to the motion, the transfer is appropriate because each of the actions arises out of the same or similar facts, and allege similar wrongful conduct on the part of the defendants. Consolidation would serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses, and would promote the just and efficient resolution of the actions.

The Paragard IUD is a T-shaped temporary birth control device that came onto the market in 1984. Since 2010, the FDA has received over 1,600 reports of Paragard breakage while implanted in women’s bodies, with over 700 classified as serious events. Yet the defendants never adequately warned patients or their doctors of the risks.

The plaintiff requested the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California as the location for the proposed Paragard multidistrict litigation (MDL), with the Northern District of Georgia or Western District of Missouri as alternative locations.

Defendants Disagree on Paragard Lawsuit Consolidation

On October 23, 2020, Paragard manufacturers filed a response in opposition to the plaintiff’s motion to consolidate. They argued that the product warnings were adequate when the plaintiffs involved in the litigation had their Paragard devices implanted.

The defendants noted that two district courts have held the warnings in the Paragard labeling is adequate, and that both cases were summary judgment decisions.

The defendants also argued that they have had a quality and consistency of manufacturing and quality assurance process that “eliminates any possibility of a causal defect,” and that a manufacturing defect claim “cannot be based on a plaintiff experiencing a known and warned-of possible side effect.”

Finally, the defendants stated the cases subject to the motion to consolidate have all been filed since March 2018, “more than thirty-three years after Paragard was approved by FDA,” adding that the uptick in lawsuits is about attorney advertising, “not a genuine mass tort.”

Should the panel decide to consolidate, the defendants requested “a judge experienced with MDLs and/or IUD litigation, who will efficiently manage the cases, and be willing to make decisions that subject cases to the correct level of scrutiny…” and asked that the cases be sent to the Southern District of New York or the Middle District of Florida.

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

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