By Adam W. Pittman on November 24, 2021
In September, Teva Pharmaceuticals and The Cooper Companies – makers of the Paragard intrauterine birth control devices (IUDs) – asked U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May in the Northern District of Georgia to toss the claims, stating they were ‘shotgun’ claims that lacked necessary detail or organization. However, Judge May decided that ample evidence was provided for this stage of the case, and that the discovery stage is when more of the specifics should be revealed.
A lead attorney for the defendants also initially claimed this an example of a shotgun complaint because his defendants, “did not know what they were being charged with.”
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But Judge May said that while there are some traits in the multidistrict litigation similar to that of a shotgun complaint, the two companies are “perfectly capable” of understanding the claims against them.
Additionally, Teva and Cooper had expressed that the proposed complaints did not include any claims for defective manufacturing or design. According to Judge May, there were in fact claims made pointing toward defective design. The plaintiffs argued that the Paragard’s T-shape does not allow any flexibility, which implies faulty design.
Injuries Caused by Paragard IUDs
This alleged design flaw has contributed to injuries such as:
- Perforation of the uterus
- Device migration
- Copper wire left inside the body
- Pelvic pain
- Organ damage
Paragard is the only copper-based alternative to hormonal IUDs available in the US, which contributes to its popularity and widespread usage. It’s advertised as longer-lasting than hormonal IUDs, claiming to be effective for up to 10 years.
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Teva Pharmaceuticals, based in New Jersey, owned Paragard from 2009 to 2017 before selling to The Cooper Companies, Inc., based in California. Judge May noted that despite it not being ideal that the defendants are grouped, this shift in ownership has created an “unusually complex” situation leading to the plaintiffs needing additional time to make conclusive statements.
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Other complaints from the plaintiffs include allegations that over the past 11 years, Teva and Cooper had been notified of thousands of breakages but failed to disclose the risks in Paragard marketing and labeling. An investigative report conducted by Sinclair Broadcast Group earlier this year uncovered that since 2013, there have been 3,186 reports of “device breakage”, 1,910 of which were deemed “serious”. Of those, 102 led to hospitalization and life-threatening complications.
The companies insisted that they could not adjust Paragard labeling without FDA approval. But Judge May stated that this was entirely new information provided to Teva and Cooper, meaning they were justified to change labeling without federal approval.
If you or someone you know has been injured or affected by a Paragard IUD, contact our legal team immediately. Call Cory Watson Attorneys today at (877) 761-8314 or complete our free online consultation form.
Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm with offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee. The firm has recovered more than $3 billion for clients across the country. Attorneys are frequently at the forefront of major class actions and multidistrict litigations involving dangerous pharmaceuticals and product liability, and are often appointed to leadership positions in national cases. Firm practice areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Class Action, Asbestos, Business & Commercial Litigation, Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Defective Medical Devices, and Environmental/Toxic Torts. To learn more, visit CoryWatson.com.