Yasmin and Yaz Litigation Moving at Fast Pace in Federal MDL

A federal judge overseeing the recently consolidated litigation over Yaz and Yasmin birth control indicates that both sides in the case are working to move the litigation at a fast pace, which is keeping with the Court’s desire for the cases to “move along efficiently and effectively.”

Less than three months ago, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all federal court Yaz litigation and Yasmin litigation, involving claims that the popular birth control pills increase the risk of blood clots and other injuries, be consolidated and coordinated for pretrial litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

About 300 women have filed lawsuits against Bayer Pharmaceuticals in federal and state courts throughout the United States, with hundreds more expected in the future. All of the lawsuits involve allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately research their birth control pills or warn about the increased risk that women using Yaz or Yasmin may suffer a stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder disease or sudden death.

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During a recent status conference in the MDL, Chief Judge David R. Herndon discussed with counsel for plaintiffs and defendants establishing “bellwether” trials, which are cases selected for early trials to gauge how juries will respond to evidence that is likely to be presented throughout the Yasmin and Yaz litigation.

“The Court would like this case to move along efficiently and effectively,” indicated Judge Herndon in minutes from the December 17 hearing. “Both sides are working diligent and in good faith to move this litigation at a fast pace and court is encouraged by that. Court has had to intervene very little.”

The parties have already reached an agreement on the terms of a protective order concerning the handling of confidential information disclosed during the litigation, and Bayer was expected to produce more than 1 million pages of documents this week as part of the discovery process.

Yaz and Yasmin are two similar birth control pills that are both manufactured by Bayer, containing a combination of ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone, a new type of progestin. Drospirenone, or drsp, impacts the body’s normal mechanism of regulating a balance between salt and water, which could result in elevated potassium levels. The unique progestin has been implicated as the likely cause of the problems with Yaz and Yasmin.

According to an August 2009 birth control study published in the British Medical Journal, pills containing drospirenone, such as Yaz, Yasmin and a generic version sold as Ocella, carry a 6.3 times increased risk of a first deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. When compared to women taking some other types of oral birth control, the increased risk was nearly four timers more among users of Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella type birth control.

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1 Comments

  • rkingFebruary 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    lost my 18 year o;d child to yaz and as everything else in life bayer drags things out and the mdl judge helps then by not sitting a time limit wonder if he would but my bills on hold that yaz caused me to have after all to bury a child is not cheap nor dose the medical bills wait

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