Posted on 20 Dec 2019
Slater and Gordon has today filed the statement of claim in the Essure class action, starting the formal court processes for the hundreds of affected women to seek compensation from Bayer, the manufacturer of contraceptive device Essure, as well as several subsidiary and sponsor companies of the device in Australia, for the severe complications they have suffered.
Slater and Gordon is alleging that the manufacturers and sponsors of Essure failed hundreds of women by supplying them with a device which caused severe pain and damage to their health, and failing to warn them of the risks associated with the product.
Essure, withdrawn from sale by Bayer in the US in 2018, is a permanent contraceptive implant comprised of a metal coil which expands to anchor the device in the fallopian tube, and then causes a scarring response in the surrounding tissue, which over time occludes the tube completely.
The Essure device has been associated with serious injuries caused by chronic inflammatory conditions, and has also been linked to physical and mechanical problems involving corrosion of the device as well as migration and perforation of the uterus and other organs.
It has also caused complications including severe chronic pain, irregular and painful menstrual bleeding, pelvic or abdominal inflammation and pain, and a variety of other conditions. The way the Essure devices were intended to permanently embed themselves in the fallopian tubes has meant that in the cases of hundreds of Australian women, the only option available to remove the devices once they begin to experience debilitating symptoms is to undergo a full hysterectomy.
Slater and Gordon Senior Associate Ebony Birchall said the class action would assist in providing justice to hundreds of women who trusted the contraceptive device would not cause irreversible damage.
“The women who had Essure implanted had every right to expect the product was safe,” Ms Birchall said.
“We are alleging that Bayer and the other responsible companies, in manufacturing and putting this product into the Australian market, owed these patients a duty of care, and that duty of care was breached by this device causing women to have significant health complications, and by failing to provide adequate warnings of these risks to women so that they could make an informed choice about their contraceptive options, considering there were other procedures available that were equally effective but much safer.
“In bringing this case on behalf of these women, we are saying to the manufacturers of this device that putting a medical device out into the market that causes significant health problems is wholly unacceptable.
“Essure was marketed as fast, effective, and minimally invasive, in that could be inserted in your doctor’s office. This so-called convenience came at a very significant cost to the patient, and their health,” Ms Birchall said.
For more information or to register for the class action, see: slatergordon.com.au/essure
Media Contact Therese Allaoui (03) 9602 6844 / 0428 994 937