Yaz, Yasmin Lawsuits Moving ForwardDec 23, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
There is progress to report in the multidistrict litigation involving Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits.
On October 1, 2009, all Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits pending in federal court were consolidated for centralized and coordinated pre-trial proceedings in the Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois before Judge David R. Herndon (MDL No. 2100). The establishment of bellwether trials were discussed at a December 17 status conference, with Judge Herndon indicating that "the Court like this case to move along efficiently and effectively."
An agreement has already been reached between plaintiffs' and defendants' attorneys on aprotective order concerning the handling of confidential information disclosed during the litigation. Bayer was expected to produce more than 1 million pages of documents this week as part of the discovery process.
Yaz and Yasmin and a generic birth control pill called Ocella are all made with a type of progestin called drospirenone, making them different from many other oral contraceptives. Drospirenone can elevate the body’s potassium levels, which can lead to a condition called hyperkalemia in certain patients. Hyperkalemia may result in potentially serious heart and health problems. Yasmin and Yaz side effects reported to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) include heart arrhythmias, electrolyte imbalance, hyponatremis, hyperkalemia, hyperkalemic arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, bradycardia, myocardial infarction, stroke, transient ischemic attack, blood clots, embolisms, and sudden death.
Around 300 women have filed lawsuits against Bayer over Yaz and Yasmin in federal and state courts around the country. Plaintiffs claim they suffered strokes, pulmonary emboli, deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, gallbladder disease, and other serious injuries after taking Yaz and Yasmin. Almost in every Yaz lawsuit it is alleged that the drugs were not subjected to adequate testing, and that Bayer failed to provide adequate warnings about their potential side effects.