Bayer Faces Nearly 50 Yasmin and Yaz Suits in Federal Court

In the face of a rapidly growing number of federal Yaz and Yasmin suits, where users of the popular birth control pills allege that they suffered serious blood clots and other potentially life-threatening injuries, Bayer Pharmaceuticals has agreed that the cases should be consolidated under one judge for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation.

According to a response filed last month with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Bayer indicates that they currently face at least 48 Yasmin suits or Yaz suits. The cases are currently pending in 12 different federal district courts in nine states and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, involving similar allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately warn about potential Yaz and Yasmin side effects.

A group of plaintiffs filed a motion to centralize all of the litigation in July, requesting that the suits be consolidated for pretrial litigation because they involve sufficiently common questions of fact. The establishment of an MDL is designed to avoid inconsistent rulings, duplicate discovery and to serve the convenience of the parties, the witnesses and the court.

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Bayer filed a response on August 20, denying that that oral contraceptive pills are defective in design, but agreeing that the plaintiff’s suits are sufficiently similar to each other to merit consolidation under the federal rules. The drug maker proposed that the litigation be centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio before Judge James G. Carr.

The Yasmin and Yaz suits involve allegations that Bayer failed to adequately research their birth control products, fraudulently concealed the risk of injury, negligently failed to warn about the degree of risk women faced and misrepresented the safety of Yasmin and Yaz in comparison to other available birth control pills. The complaints include claims that women suffered heart attacks, strokes, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, gallbladder disease and sudden death after using Yaz or Yasmin.

At the time plaintiffs filed their motion, there were 32 lawsuits over Yasmin or Yaz pending against Bayer. In their response, Bayer indicates that they are aware of at least 48 cases, with 43 filed since April 2009 and most brought in July or August 2009. In addition, as Yasmin and Yaz injury lawyers review additional claims for other women who have suffered problems, it is expected that the number of lawsuits will continue to grow.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has scheduled a hearing for September 24 to hear oral arguments about whether consolidation should be ordered. At least one plaintiff has opposed the inclusion of their case in the MDL, and other plaintiffs have proposed alternate venues for the MDL, including the Eastern District of New York or Southern District of Illinois.

1 Comments

  • MirandaSeptember 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I am a national champion marathon canoeist and a very avid runner. I recently suffered a pulmonary embolism while taking YAZ. I don't smoke and I am certainly not over 35 (DOB 10-23-1987) I really hope every young woman is aware of the horrible and potential risks for ALL women (not just smokers and those over 35) taking this form of oral contraception.

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