New Jersey’s Administrative Office of the Courts has ordered Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits filed in that state to be consolidated in a mass tort. The Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits have been assigned to Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Bergen County Superior Court.
Some legal experts say as many as 1,000 legal cases involving Yaz and Yasmin could be filed in New Jersey alone. The lawsuits there were consolidated to avoid duplication and to prevent conflicting rulings in different cases throughout the state. Each Yaz lawsuit remains an individual action, and could be returned to the original court where they were filed for resolution or trial in the future.
On October 1, 2009, all lawsuits involving Yaz and Yasmin currently pending in federal courts 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). In December, Judge Herndon discussed scheduling a series of “bellwether” trials for the lawsuits, which will serve as a guideline for other cases. Some legal experts believe that as many as 25,000 lawsuits involving Yaz and similar medications could ultimately be filed in the multidistrict litigation.
Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits filed in New Jersey and elsewhere claim the medications blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, gallbladder disease and other health problems. Plaintiffs allege that Yaz and Yasmin were not subjected to adequate testing, and that Bayer failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential Yaz side effects.
Yaz and Yasmin are both 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. Adverse Events reported to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) involving Yaz and Yasmin 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.