Scope narrowed in class action against alleged dangerous contraception method

A group of women suing a pharmaceutical giant for selling them contraceptive implants they allege leached nickel and perforated their organs has honed the scope of their argument. Read on news.com.au

The Essure device was a metal coil inserted into the fallopian tubes to block them off and prevent pregnancy. Picture: Supplied

A group of women suing a pharmaceutical giant for selling them contraceptive implants they allege leached nickel and perforated their organs has honed the scope of their argument.

The Slater and Gordon-led class action against Bayer was narrowed in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Friday, with two defendants dropped and two legal arguments removed.

The women allege the ‘Essure’ and ‘Stop’ implants caused a range of horrific problems including chronic inflammation and bleeding, and required some women to have their uteruses surgically removed via hysterectomy.

Slater and Gordon practice group leader Rory Walsh said they were representing hundreds of women and were open to bringing in anyone who claims they were affected by the implant.

“It’s open to any woman who had the Essure products inserted to contact us and make inquiries about a claim,” he said.

“It’s a very significant piece of litigation.”

Two defendants, Lake Region Medical and Integer Holdings Corporation, were removed from the claim as their involvement in the distribution of the devices had been misunderstood.

“The plaintiff sought to identify the necessary defendants,” the order from Justice John Dixon said.

“This task that was complicated as Essure devices were available for use in Australia for almost 20 years and during that time different companies were responsible for various aspects of the products.”

The arguments removed were that the Essure devices were not fit for purpose and that their sale involved misleading and deceptive conduct.

The women continue to allege that Bayer breached their duty of care to prevent harm, that the devices were not of reasonable quality, that they had a safety defect and that the women were owed compensation.

The Essure devices were two spring-like metal coils inserted into the fallopian tubes.

They expanded to a diameter of 2mm, causing tissue growth and blocking the fallopian tube to prevent pregnancy.

They could only be removed by “surgically removing the fallopian tubes or uterus”, it is alleged.

Slater and Gordon claim the devices triggered a response in the body to a foreign object, causing chronic inflammation, pain and bleeding.

They allege there were cases where the metal coils migrated from the spot they were inserted, broke and fragmented inside the body, corroded, and leached nickel and other metals.

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