Some Yaz, Yasmin Cases Settling, But Thousands Remain in Litigation
In recent weeks, there have been several media reports on Yaz and Yasmin settlements, as Bayer is negotiating with law firms on case-by-cases. However, the drug maker continues to face thousands of lawsuits filed by women throughout the country, and this litigation is far from over.
Bayer currently faces nearly 12,000 Yaz lawsuits, Yasmin lawsuits, Ocella lawsuits and Beyaz lawsuits. All of the claims involve similar allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately warn about the side effects of drospirenone, the third-generation progestin contained in the popular birth control pills.
The litigation involves several “categories” of injuries, including catastrophic injuries (such as strokes and heart attacks), venous clot injuries (including pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and other blood clot injuries), and gallbladder injuries (which have caused many women to require removal of the gallbladder after taking the birth control pills).
Despite recent reports of settlements for Yasmin and Yaz lawsuits, potential new claims are still being reviewed for women throughout the United States who have suffered a blood clot injury.
In a Stockholders’ Newsletter sent out for the first quarter 2012, Bayer indicates that it has settled Yasmin and Yaz cases brought by at least 651 women, agreeing to pay $142 million, which results in an average of about $218,000 per case. However, the cases that are settling do not involve many of the most serious injuries, where women suffered strokes from Yaz or died. The settlements also do not resolve any of the gallbladder injuries, which Bayer has previously indicated they do not intend to negotiate at this time.
Therefore, despite reports that indicate the Yaz and Yasmin case are settling, this litigation is far from over.
The first Yaz trial as originally was scheduled to begin in January 2012, involving a women who suffered a pulmonary embolism. That trial was to be followed by a second trial involving a gallbladder injury, then a third trial involving a deep vein thrombosis or other venous clot injury.
These early trial dates, known as bellwether trials, are designed to promote settlement by allowing the parties to gauge how juries are likely to respond to testimony and facts that are likely to be repeated throughout the litigation. (Under the initial bellwether plan, cases involving catastrophic injuries like strokes were excluded from the process).
Days before the first trial was scheduled to begin, Judge David Herndon, who is presiding over the federal litigation in the MDL, canceled all trial dates and ordered the parties to engage in negotiations and start settling Yaz and Yasmin cases.
In an order issued in January, Judge Herndon wrote:
If the Court determines that the parties have not acted in good father during the negotiation process or that bellwether trials will be of no use and the parties have been unable to settle cases generally, the Court will begin the process of remanding cases to transferor districts… at such time as the Court declares the settlement process at an impasse.
At this time, all signs continue to indicate that Bayer is negotiating in good faith on a large portion of the litigation, involving cases for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, following a case specific analysis of medical records involved in each claim.
In an order issued April 19, Judge Herndon extended all deadlines another 90 days to allow additional time for negotiations. This is the third time the deadlines have been extended and it means that the earliest date the first trials could begin if negotiations breakdown would be September 2012. However, it seems extremely unlikely that any Yaz or Yasmin cases will be presented to a jury this year, as efforts will continue to reach settlement agreements.
YASMIN AND YAS CASES CONTINUING TO BE REVIEWED
There is still a lot of work to be done in this litigation and the Yaz and Yasmin lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. continue to review potential cases for women throughout the United States.
To review a potential Yaz or Yasmin case for yourself, a friend or family member and determine if financial compensation may be available through a settlement, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.