Group of 10 Paragard Lawsuits Involving IUD Breakage To Be Selected Bellwether Trial Pool
- More than 1700 Paragard lawsuits are being pursued by women nationwide
- Claims raise similar allegations of Paragard IUD breakage during attempted removal
- The first Paragard bellwether trial is scheduled to begin in March 2024, to help the parties determine how juries will respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the claims
- If Paragard IUD settlements are not reached following bellwether trials, each claim may be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trial dates
- LEARN MORE ABOUT PARAGARD LAWSUITS
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal Paragard lawsuits has outlined the process parties will follow to select a group of 10 representative cases which will be eligible for the first bellwether trials next year, requiring that each of the claims involve allegations of IUD breakage upon removal of the birth control implant.
The Paragard IUD is a small plastic device wrapped in copper, which is placed in the uterus to provide women long-acting protection against pregnancy for up to ten years.
Although, the procedure is marketed as safe and reversible, allowing doctors to remove the IUD during an out-patient office procedure when women no longer want the birth control, lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system allege women experienced Paragard IUD breakage as doctors attempted to remove it, often resulting in the need for emergency surgery to retrieve pieces of the IUD, which may cause devastating internal injuries.
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Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, consolidated pretrial proceedings were established in December 2020, transferring all pending and new cases filed throughout the federal court system to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings before Judge Leigh Martin May as part of an MDL (multidistrict litigation).
Paragard IUD Bellwether Case Selections
As part of the pretrial proceedings, Judge May has established a bellwether program, where a small group of representative cases will be prepared for early trial dates to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to react to certain evidence and expert witness testimony that will be repeated throughout thousands of cases if Paragard settlements are not reached.
Judge May previously announced that the first Paragard bellwether trial will begin March 4, 2024, but the Court will not determine which specific case will go before a jury until this fall, after a small group of claims go through case-specific discovery over the next six months.
In a case management order (PDF) issued on February 22, Judge May indicated that the parties will now begin the process of selecting an initial bellwether case pool, which will consist of 10 Paragard lawsuits involving IUD breakage allegations, where Plaintiff Fact Sheets and document production were completed prior to December 1, 2022.
The parties will submit a list of all cases that are eligible for selection this week, and Plaintiffs have been directed to nominate 15 cases for the bellwether pool by February 27, 2023. The parties will then each select three cases from this list by March 17, and the court will select six cases randomly. Following a series of challenges, each side will be permitted to strike one case, resulting in a final pool of 10 claims.
Following finalization of the bellwether pool, each of the cases will go through additional discovery, including depositions of the plaintiffs and their spouses, as well as medical providers and other fact witnesses.
In August 2023, the parties will meet and confer to make alternate strikes from the remaining 10 bellwether pool cases, until six claims remain. The parties will then each select one case, and the court will select a third, which will be eligible for the first trial date in March 2024.
Between August 18, 2023 and December 22, 2023, the parties will conduct additional discovery on the three remaining cases, and the Court will later identify the claim that will be first to go before a jury, with another identified as a backup in the event a settlement or other resolution causes the first case not to proceed to trial.
March 2023 Paragard IUD Lawsuit Update
According to the latest docket report (PDF) issued by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on September 15, there are nearly 1,700 Paragard IUD lawsuits pending before Judge May.
Each of the claims raise nearly identical allegations, indicating that the manufacturer sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous birth control implant, which was prone to break while doctors attempted to remove it. While each of the claims resulted in different injuries and circumstances, it is expected that plaintiffs will present similar evidence and testimony about the propensity for Paragard IUD breakage and the manufacturers’ failure to adequately warn users and the medical community about the potential risks.
While the outcome of these Paragard bellwether trials will not have any binding impact on other claimants, they are expected to have a large impact on any negotiations for a potential global Paragard IUD settlement that would avoid the need for hundreds of individual cases to be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates after the March 2024 trial.
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Lawyers are continuing to review and evaluate claims for women who were injured due to Paragard IUD breakage during attempted removal. Find out if you may be eligible for a Paragard lawsuit payout.
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