Due to the need for safe, quick, easy, dependable, and inexpensive ways for people to prevent the risk of pregnancies and the transmission of diseases, different types of oral contraceptives and intrauterine contraceptive devices have been established in the marketplace.
Unfortunately, these products occasionally fail, resulting in damages and side effects, such as unwanted pregnancies, infections, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), uterine problems, tumors, and death.
Manufacturers and sellers of contraceptives have been held responsible for injuries to users under product liability theories such as failure to warn, breach of warranty, and fraudulent misrepresentation.
Failure to Warn
Manufacturers and sellers have a duty to warn of the hazards of their products. Some courts hold that a manufacturer or seller who cautions the prescribing doctor of dangers in the product has no duty to warn the consumer. In contrast, others hold that the consumer must be forewarned directly of product hazards.
For example, the manufacturer of the “Copper 7” intrauterine contraceptive device was held accountable for labeling, which inadequately warned doctors and patients of the dangers associated with the device after a user became pregnant and suffered a septic abortion.
Breach of Warranty
Often, products come with express or implied warranties. When a warranty is breached, the manufacturer or seller may be held liable for injuries caused by the breach of warranty. For instance, the manufacturer of an oral contraceptive pill was found liable for breach of warranty because the drug was dangerous and not reasonably fit for use as a contraceptive. A woman used the pill as a contraceptive and suffered personal injuries.
The court stated that these facts were sufficient to find that the drug was unmerchantable because it did not fit the ordinary purposes for which such goods are used.
A manufacturer or seller of an intrauterine device could be liable for injuries suffered by a user if there were misrepresentations by the manufacturer as to the proper use and safety of the product.
For instance, the manufacturer of the “Dalkon Shield,” an intrauterine device, was held accountable after a user became pregnant and hospitalized and underwent a therapeutic abortion. The court said that the product was misrepresented concerning the manufacturer’s knowledge about its safety and efficacy since it had not been sufficiently tested.
Additionally, each patient having the shield inserted should have been told that she was using an effectively experimental device which a gynecologist should have observed.
What Legal Claims Do I Have for Issues With a Contraceptive?
In general, a contraceptive may be represented as a type of product that temporarily stops or reduces the likelihood that a person will become pregnant if they engage in a relationship that is sexual. However, once a person quits using a contraceptive product, they will no longer be protected from getting pregnant.
Some examples of contraceptives that consumers normally use include:
- Birth control pills;
- An intrauterine device (“IUD”);
- A birth control implant;
- Pregnancy prevention shots; and
- Prophylactics or condoms.
In circumstances where a contraceptive injures a person, they may be able to file a legal claim against a manufacturer or a medical practitioner in civil court. If the injured party successfully brings their case, they will likely be able to recover an award for monetary damages.
To learn more about the laws and legal procedures needed to file a contraceptive lawsuit in a local court, you may want to contact a local personal injury attorney for further legal guidance on the issue. An attorney can resolve whether an injured party has a viable claim and help them navigate the steps of adequately bringing a contraceptive lawsuit in compliance with the applicable laws.
What Are Some Common Contraceptive Lawsuit Claims?
A consumer may suffer many serious injuries after using a contraceptive. For example, the consumer may become infertile, encounter blood clots, give birth to a child with congenital disabilities, or even cause the consumer to become deceased. While contraceptives seldom cause their users to die, death is still a possibility, and any other injuries associated with contraceptives tend to be fairly serious.
Some additional injuries that a plaintiff may suffer from using a contraceptive may include:
- Pains near or in the pelvic area;
- Formations of ovarian cysts;
- A need for a hysterectomy;
- Lacerations or tears in organs that are essential to the reproductive system;
- Life-threatening pregnancies or childbirths;
- Movement of internal contraceptives to other parts of the body;
- Pelvic inflammatory disease;
- Swelling or ulcers in bodily organs;
- Stroke deep vein thrombosis;
- Mood swings, depression, and other mental or emotional side effects caused by the hormones used to make a distinctive type of contraceptive;
- Emotional or mental distress associated with an unwanted pregnancy or childbirth; or
- Complications from multiple surgeries to remove or locate the IUD or another type of contraceptive implant.
One standard claim that may serve as the foundation of a lawsuit involving injuries caused by a contraceptive is a claim for product liability, which may be filed against the manufacturer of the contraceptive in question.
Suppose the individual filing a contraceptive lawsuit can demonstrate that their injuries resulted from a manufacturer or seller’s actions. In that circumstance, they may be able to recover some amount of monetary damages for their injuries. They may also ask that the court order the manufacturer to administer a recall on a particularly defective contraceptive product.
Another typical claim that may be asserted for the foundation of a contraceptive lawsuit is a claim for medical malpractice. A medical malpractice lawsuit may typically occur when an individual has been injured due to negligent conduct carried out by a trained medical professional.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are usually filed in the following kinds of cases:
When a medical professional improperly lodges a contraceptive in a patient (e.g., an IUD or other birth control implant);
If a medical professional gives flawed or inappropriate instructions regarding how to use a contraceptive
What Are the Remedies in a Contraceptive Legal Claim?
There are several remedies that a prevailing plaintiff may be able to recover under a legal claim for injuries caused by a contraceptive. The legal remedies available will generally depend on the rules of a specific jurisdiction, the facts of a particular case, and the severity of the injuries a plaintiff sustained after using the contraceptive product in question.
Some standard examples of legal remedies that an injured party may be able to collect under a contraceptive legal claim may include the following:
- A monetary damages award to cover any medical costs that a plaintiff was forced to pay out of pocket to treat their injuries;
- Damages to pay for legal expenses, such as attorneys’ fees and administrative court costs, which would not have transpired if the plaintiff had not suffered injuries due to using the contraceptive product at issue;
- An award for punitive damages in circumstances where an injured party can establish that a medical professional caused intentional harm or was grossly negligent when prescribing or inserting a contraceptive product
Should I Consult An Attorney About Injuries Caused By Contraceptives?
You should contact an attorney immediately if you have been injured by using a contraceptive. Proving your case can be challenging, but a consumer lawyer can help clarify the law and your rights so that you can collect damages for your injuries.