Women's health has proven to be a lucrative field for drug manufacturers around the world. Products ranging from POP slings to birth control pills seem to offer the perfect solution to our uncooperative and hormonal bodies. But as with most areas of medicine, new women’s health products introduced to the market have been closely followed by slews of lawsuits.
Complications ranging from blood clots or infertility aren't unheard of, but more mild side effects may not qualify for monetary compensation. To file a product liability lawsuit, certain measures must be met, the most important of which is negligence.
To establish negligence it must be proven that the manufacturer owed the consumer a duty, that this duty was breached, and as a result they were injured. These injuries must have come at some quantifiable cost to the plaintiff, in corrective surgeries, medication costs, loss of time at work, etc. If the person is somehow permanently injured, the jury can assign a monetary amount commensurable with the plaintiff's injuries.
Things you cannot sue for:
- Becoming pregnant. Many women believe that failure to prevent pregnancy is grounds for a lawsuit- but unfortunately the only method of 100% prevention is abstinence. Makers of birth control do not promise their products will completely eliminate the chances of pregnancy.
- Worsening of cramps, acne, discharge or other period-related complications. Most hormonal methods of birth control have similar side effects and these are not considered to be disruptive to the quality of life.
- Headaches or depression. Some women who have used hormonal birth control experience mild to severe depression, but these have not been recognized as a true side effect of hormonal birth control
- Loss of libido. This is a common side effect of hormonal birth control.
Things you may be able to sue for:
- Birth defects in children who were conceived while using the Mirena IUD.
- Tears in the uterine wall from Paragard and Mirena.
- Ectopic pregnancy. Approximately half of all pregnancies on the Mirena IUD are ectopic. The fetus will rarely survive and this can be a life-threatening condition for the mother.
- Injury to intestines or nearby organs due to migration of a IUD.
- Blood clots from the use of Yaz, Yasmin or Ocella.
- Stroke caused by higher blood pressure and the presence of blood clots in legs and other areas.
- Death caused by complications from birth control.
How do I know if I qualify for a settlement?
For advice on a specific case, you’ll need to speak to a lawyer who handles birth control lawsuits. Many of these attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no costs unless they win your case.
During your in-person consultation they'll discuss your complications and the effect it has had on your life. If your case qualifies for a lawsuit, your attorney will discuss with you your legal options and how to move forward with your case.