For more information or confidential assistance
se habla español

Hundreds of Yaz Lawsuits Resolved with Settlements

yaz packagingBayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals has reported substantial progress during the latest status conference for the multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2100 regarding Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits. The status conference took place early in November 2015. It was presided over by U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon of the Southern District of Illinois.

According to the minutes of the status conference, the counsel for the defendants reported that more than 400 Yaz and Yasmin claims have already been settled since the previous status conference.

Additionally, another 420 cases have been identified for possible settlement arrangements. The details of the accord have not been disclosed. Counsel for the defendants and the plaintiffs will be reviewing these cases, and they have expressed optimism that the cases can be resolved in a timely manner. It is expected that the counsel will report further progress at the next status conference, which is scheduled for February 16, 2016.

Defendant’s changing stance on resolving cases

In total, more than 13,000 women and surviving family members have filed lawsuits against the defendants, alleging serious complications from the birth control medications Yaz and Yasmin. In fact, the MDL was at one point the largest active mass tort proceeding in the federal court system.

The first few bellwether trials were scheduled to begin early in 2012. However, Judge Herndon pushed back the trial dates to give the parties some time to hammer out settlement deals. Bayer agreed to settle small groups of cases that involved allegations of blood clot injuries, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). By July of 2015, Bayer had reported that it had agreed to pay a minimum of $2 billion to resolve almost all of the venous clot and gallbladder injury lawsuits – about 10,000 cases in total.

However, the defendants resisted settling cases involving heart attacks, stroke, and patent foramen ovale injuries. The lack of forward progress in the MDL prompted Judge Herndon to identify 33 Yaz lawsuits for preparation for bellwether trials.

In August 2015, the defendants agreed to set aside $57 million for Yaz and Yasmin settlements that would resolve some 1,200 lawsuits. It should be noted that a settlement agreement is not an admission of liability on behalf of the defendants.

About Yaz and Yasmin

The latest settlement updates from the most recent status conference is likely to be welcome news for hundreds of families throughout the country. Yaz and Yasmin are birth control pills that combine ethinyl estradiol (synthetic estrogen) with drospirenone, a new generation of synthetic progesterone. The pills work by suppressing ovulation and altering the uterine lining to prevent unintentional pregnancy. After Yasmin was released in 2001 and Yaz in 2006, they quickly became a popular choice among women in part because the defendants marketed them as being appropriate for clearing up acne, preventing bloating, and relieving the depression and anxiety associated with PMS.

However, in 2009, the FDA sent a notice to Bayer Healthcare, requiring the pharmaceutical giant to issue a corrective marketing campaign. The FDA noted that the initial marketing campaign made some misleading claims that overstated the benefits and downplayed the risks.

  1., Yaz,
  2. Ms. Magazine, Just How Safe is Yaz? Women Need to Know!