The first scheduled trial over the purported health risks to women from Bayer AG’s Yasmin family of birth control pills was delayed after a federal judge ordered the parties to mediation. On December 31, 2011, Illinois District Court Judge David Herndon postponed a trial scheduled to begin in January and referred the case to George Washington University law professor Stephen Saltzburg for mediation and possible settlement. Saltzburg has previous experience mediating drug lawsuits such as the 2010 AstraZeneca Seroquel antipsychotic litigation. No time limit was set for the mediation.
Currently, more than 10,000 lawsuits have been filed in the United States against Germany’s largest pharmaceutical company over injuries allegedly caused by the company’s Yasmin line of contraceptives. Bayer is accused of knowingly misleading women regarding health risks associated with birth control pills such as Yaz. The contraceptives, which contain the hormone drospirenone, purportedly caused blood clots in a significant percentage of the women who took them. In the litigation, Bayer is also accused of marketing its contraceptives as safer than those of the company’s competitors despite company knowledge regarding the increased blood clot risk. After numerous lawsuits were filed across the nation, the litigation was consolidated in East St. Louis, Illinois before Judge Herndon. Yaz litigation in a Pennsylvania state court was also put on hold in January over a procedural matter.
In 2011, the nation’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data related to approximately 835,000 women who were prescribed the Yasmin line of drospirenone-based contraceptives. The FDA warned women they were at a 74 percent higher risk of suffering from sometimes fatal blood clots while taking Yasmin than women taking other low-estrogen birth control pills. In their lawsuits, attorneys for the women pointed to FDA reports of more than 50 fatalities between 2004 and 2008 in women taking the Yasmin line of contraceptives.
In 2010, Bayer sold approximately $1.58 billion worth of contraceptives. In 2011, Yasmin reportedly had a 4.6 percent market share and was the fourth most prescribed oral contraceptive in the United States.
Potential Yaz birth control lawsuits are currently being evaluated throughout the United States due to a reportedly higher risk of blood clots in women taking the drug. If you or a loved one experienced a dangerous blood clot or other health complications while taking the Yasmin line of contraceptives, you should contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Carabin Shaw, an experienced Austin personal injury law firm, if your family member was hurt by a pharmaceutical company’s product. Our diligent attorneys are available to assist you with your Yaz contraceptive claim. Our lawyers work hard in order to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries. We are available to assist clients across the State of Texas including San Antonio, Laredo, Beeville, El Paso, Beaumont, Austin, Rockport, McAllen, and Seguin. To schedule a free initial consultation, call Carabin Shaw toll free at (800) 862-1260 today. You may also contact us through our website.
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Bayer Judge Postpones First Yaz Trial to Have Cases Mediated, by Jef Feeley and Naomi Kresge, Bloomberg Businessweek