The drug and medical device maker Bayer, along with the federal Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, have been in hot water of late over a birth control device that many women are saying caused them serious medical complications.
The device, called Essure, has been the target of about 16,000 legal cases as well as a recent critical documentary which appeared on Netflix. Essure was approved for use by the FDA in 2002, but Bayer has recently announced it is going to slowly shelf the device because of market conditions, not safety concerns. Bayer denies any wrongdoing with respect to Essure and has called Netflix to task for what the manufacturer implied was an inaccurate, distorted commentary.
When working properly, Essure is supposed to cause scarring on a woman's fallopian tubes, a condition which makes a woman infertile. The allegations in these lawsuits are that the Essure product also caused bleeding, inflammation related to allergies and severe pain.
The women who filed these suits also said Bayer knew about these risks yet charged on with putting the drug on the market, effectively putting profits over the public safety.
Netflix also implied that the FDA had allowed Bayer to do this, approving the drug in 2002 despite the fact that Bayer may have avoided answering very important questions about the product's safety.
Many of these lawsuits are still pending in courtrooms around the nation, and it remains to be seen how they will play out. Still, a woman in Georgia who feels that she may have gotten hurt by using Essure should evaluate her legal options, including the option of filing a medical product liability case. She may be able to recover compensation for her expenses as well as for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.