3 Harmful Products and Devices for Women That Led to Lawsuits

3 Harmful Products and Devices for Women That Led to Lawsuits

Due to technological developments, the beauty and medical industries have successfully created unique products and devices geared toward women. These help monitor and manage health issues, enhance their beauty, etc. 

For example, the fetal monitoring device has gained immense popularity. It helps monitor the fetal heart rate and detect underlying problems. Due to its effectiveness, the fetal monitoring device market is expected to reach USD 2,206 million soon. 

Similarly, the use of LED masks has gained popularity in recent years. That’s because the product can help with skin whitening, removing fine lines, anti-aging, skin tightening, etc. Hence, the LED mask market is predicted to have 11.9% CAGR growth by 2030. 

Even then, some devices and products have failed, leading to severe health issues and complications for women. Approximately 9 out of 10 medical innovations fail due to improper manufacturing processes. Moreover, 95% of new products misfire and lead to health complications. 

Usually, companies try to hide these defects and make false advertisements to generate profit. That’s why affected individuals file lawsuits against manufacturing companies. 

In this blog, we will discuss two such devices and one product that forced women to file product liability lawsuits.

#1. Transvaginal Mesh 

A transvaginal mesh (also known as pelvic mesh or vaginal mesh) is a surgically implanted medical device used to treat serious pelvic floor disorders. These include stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). 

However, research soon linked the use of pelvic mesh to serious health issues. Examples include severe pain, bleeding, urinary problems, organ perforation, and infection. Women experienced these complications because the mesh had started to erode. Since then, the medical community has debated its use to treat SUI and POP. 

According to TorHoerman Law, many countries issued restrictions and warnings on these devices, and the FDA banned their sale in April 2019. Once the affected women realized the manufacturers knew about the harmful defects, they filed lawsuits. Companies that faced legal action were Boston Scientific Corp., C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems, and more. 

Over 100,000 lawsuits were filed, with an expected individual settlement of USD 150,000 to USD 400,000. As of 2023, 95% of vaginal mesh lawsuit cases have been settled, and the total payout is expected to be USD 8 billion. However, lawyers are continuing to fight for justice in the pending cases. 

#2. Chemical Hair Relaxers 

Many women would agree that straight hair is more manageable, better-looking, shiny, and always fashionable. That’s why the beauty industry created products that help transform and straighten curly or wavy hair. Examples include hair relaxers and chemical straightening products. 

However, the parabens, formaldehyde, and phthalates in these products led to serious health issues. Reports suggest there’s an increased risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and uterine cancer among women who use these hair straightening products.

Unfortunately, manufacturers had sold these hair relaxers after marketing them as a safe product for health and beauty. Hence, affected women took legal action against companies like L’Oreal, Soft Sheen, and more. Women who have developed cancer and other health issues due to hair relaxers can file for this claim only if they have substantial medical proof. 

Over 8,000 hair relaxer lawsuits allege consumer negligence and failure to warn about potential health hazards. According to Forbes, none of these litigations have reached a verdict or settlement. However, the legal industry estimates individual settlements at USD 100,000 to USD 1,500,000. 

#3. Copper-Based Intrauterine Devices (IUD) 

The side effects of birth control pills, like breast tenderness, nausea, increased blood pressure, etc., compelled the medical industry to develop other contraceptive devices. One of the most effective would be hormonal IUDs. 

However, the use of hormonal IUDs eventually led women to develop acne, headaches, irregular bleeding, mood changes, and more. That’s when the industry introduced a one-of-a-kind, non-hormonal copper IUD.

Manufactured by Paragard, this T-shaped copper device could prevent pregnancies for up to 10 years once inserted. Initially, it was a holy grail for newly married women. But it soon turned into a nightmare. 

Doctors found that the Paragard IUDs tended to break and fracture when removed. As a result, pieces of the device migrated to various organs, and the women needed invasive surgery. In some cases, these pieces caused organ damage and internal bleeding. 

Reports suggest that over 15,000 women faced severe complications, while there were 15 fatalities. Some affected women filed lawsuits against Paragard, alleging corporate negligence and intentional harm. They wanted compensation for the medical bills, lost wages, and suffering. Once proven guilty, the court might ask Paragard to offer individual settlement amounts between USD 25,000 and USD 200,000.

Products summary

In summary, using advanced technology and innovative approaches to create unique products and devices doesn’t make it perfect. Failures like copper IUDs, hair relaxers, and transvaginal mesh are the biggest examples. When such failures affect human health, people become outraged. As a result, they seek compensation for the personal injury, emotional damage, lost wages, and loss of lifestyle. 

Share your love
Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

Articles: 15885