Two hundred UK women, alleging distress from a permanent contraceptive device, have been granted the right to collectively sue its manufacturer.
The device, known as the Essure coil, has reportedly inflicted lasting physical and emotional trauma, as argued by the legal representatives of the affected women.
Bayer, the German company behind the product, pledges to robustly contest the allegations.
Despite the withdrawal of Essure from the market in 2017, the UK’s medicine overseer assured its safety.
The legal gears started turning in England in 2020, with attorneys now authorized to represent 200 women in a collective lawsuit. Potential additional plaintiffs have a window until 2024 to join this action.
Essure is a diminutive metallic coil designed for insertion into the fallopian tubes. With time, scar tissue envelops the coil, acting as a barrier to sperm, making it a marketed alternative to surgical sterilization since 2002. Nonetheless, reports of persistent pain, abnormal bleeding, and other complications have emerged. Some women even underwent hysterectomies or complete removal of the device.
Deborah Chalk narrates her ordeal post-Essure insertion, which included diverse symptoms from severe headaches to numbness. The realization that the device could be the root cause came after a CT scan revelation. Its removal brought Deborah instantaneous alleviation.
Bayer emphasizes its commitment to product safety and efficacy and expresses compassion for those facing health issues related to their products. Stating they’ve conducted extensive research on Essure, the company believes its advantages outweigh the risks. They highlighted the necessity for claimants to validate their allegations.
Lisa Lunt, the legal voice for the 200 women and leader of medical-product claims at the global law firm Pogust Goodhead, points out the global issues with the device, hoping Bayer will recognize and compensate for the inflicted pain.
Bayer faces lawsuits globally regarding Essure. In the U.S., the firm settled claims amounting to over $1.6bn from nearly 39,000 women, yet maintains its innocence.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration asserts that those without issues from the Essure device should continue its use.