A federal judge in Illinois has set a trial date of June 15 for a lawsuit in the Yaz blood clot MDL while criticizing manufacturer Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceutical, Law360 reports. U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon, who is overseeing the litigation, stated that Bayer’s legal strategy resulted in “wearing everyone down over time” Law360 reports.
The lawsuit selected to go to trial was filed on behalf of a plaintiff who joined the litigation in 2010 alleging that she suffered a stroke, allegedly due to taking Yaz birth control. Her complaint alleges that drospirenone, the synthetic hormone in Yaz, can cause blood clots, heart problems, strokes and other issues and that Bayer should have known about these risks.
“An MDL judge certainly can and should be helpful to the litigation, part and parcel to the pretrial discovery by facilitating settlement, but when that settlement posture must come from wearing everyone down over time or expecting an entire group of catastrophically injured women, for the most part, to simply drop their claims, the MDL judge is not properly exercising his duties by simply standing by or dragging the pretrial proceedings out,” Judge Herndon said in his order, according to Law360.
Bayer failed to conduct proper analyses or negotiated in certain cases alleging Yaz caused blood clots, Judge Herndon said. In his ruling, he called Bayer’s strategy one of “attrition” according to Law360.
The Yaz MDL began in 2009 and contained roughly 12,000 lawsuits at its largest. At the time, it was the largest MDL in the United States. Currently, there are a few thousand cases in the litigation.
Bayer agreed to settle Yaz lawsuits alleging gallbladder problems for $24 million in March 2013. The deal offered up to $3,000 to patients who underwent surgery to remove their gallbladders after taking Yaz and up to $2,000 to those who developed symptoms but did not undergo surgery. The settlement did not settle allegations that Yaz caused blood clots, stroke or heart attack.