As we've learned recently, Essure birth control implants may not be safe. The permanent coil has been known to fail, cause infection, and even lead to serious hemorrhaging. Some women injured by Essure implants have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer, Bayer, and a recent California court ruling may pave the way for many, many more.
Judge Winifred Y. Smith of the Alameda County Superior Court held that Bayer could be liable for Essure injuries, despite federal regulation of the industry. And the green light given to these 11 cases in California could mean hundreds, if not thousands will follow.
FDA and Essure
There are some 200 lawsuits filed against Bayer in California alone. And the company was trying to get these claims dismissed, arguing that because the FDA approved the Essure implant Bayer should not be held liable for injuries resulting from its use. Actually, the FDA recently issued a "black box warning" on Essure implants, its most serious warning available, saying "some women may be at risk for serious complications" and "[m]ore rigorous research is needed to better understand if certain women are at heightened risk of complications."
Those complications can include cramping, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, and pelvic or back discomfort immediately after Essure placement, as well as pelvic pain, perforation of the uterus or fallopian tubes, and migration of Essure inserts through the fallopian tubes or uterus into the lower abdomen and pelvis. And, in some cases, Essure implants have failed, resulting in unwanted pregnancies.
Courts and Bayer
Judge Smith was unsympathetic to Bayer's arguments, and allowed the consolidated cases in her court to proceed. As attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick told Modern Healthcare, "It's a court telling Bayer and other similar manufacturers that they don't have immunity. They don't have the ability to go out and injure without consequence."
This means that those other California lawsuits are likely to proceed as well, and plaintiffs in other states may use the ruling to bolster their arguments regarding Bayer's liability for Essure injuries. If you've been injured by or suffered adverse side effects from an Essure birth control implant, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Most are happy to review your case for free.