Yaz and Yasmin Birth Control Pill Settlement of 500 Cases Reported for $110 Million
It was reported in Bloomberg on Friday that Bayer AG, the manufacturer of the blockbuster birth control drugs, Yaz and Yasmin has settled about 500 lawsuits arising out of blood clot injuries alleged to have been caused by the drugs. It was reported that Bayer has agreed to pay an average value of about $220,000 a case. It is claimed that the blood clots can cause pulmonary emboli, deep venous thrombosis, strokes and sometimes death.
After the settlement of this first batch of 500 cases, there remain approximately 10,500 still pending. Bayer is currently continuing to engage in negotiations to settle the pending cases.
All cases filed in Federal Court throughout the country were consolidated before the Honorable David Herndon, a United States District Court Judge based in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis, Illinois.
Steven R. Maher of the Maher Law Firm was appointed by the Court to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee, a group of 17 attorneys responsible for the leadership and prosecution of the Yaz and Yasmin litigation nationwide. Mr. Maher also represents many women individually who have been injured by the drugs. The litigation has been ongoing since 2009.
The first trials were set to begin in January of 2012 and were postponed by the Court to give the parties an opportunity to see if the cases could be settled without trial.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 10, 2012 ordered that Bayer strengthen the warnings on Yaz and Yasmin of life-threatening blood clots, following a hearing on December 8, 2012 of the FDA’s Advisory Committee where, following testimony of physicians, scientists, Bayer representatives, women injured by the drugs and family members of women who had died after taking the pills. Steven Maher attended the hearing with a client who testified before the Committee of the ordeal that she went through after being diagnosed with a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
The FDA’s action requiring Bayer to strengthen the warnings follows the publication of epidemiological studies that showed that drospherinone, the synthetic hormone that is contained in Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella and Gianvi, presents a higher risk of blood clots than the hormones used in other types of birth control pills.