Yaz, Yasmin Injury Lawsuits Keep Coming

Even as cases are being settled, lawsuits are still being filed in the federal Yaz and Yasmin products liability litigation underway in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois.  According to a report from the Madison Record, 76 new Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits have been filed since the beginning of July by plaintiffs who allege the popular birth control pills carry a higher risk of blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and other side effects compared to other oral contraceptives.

According to the Madison Record, the Court’s website lists roughly 9,800 lawsuits in the Yaz and Yasmin litigation.   All of the complaints accuse Bayer and other defendants of failing to adequately research their products and concealing the risks of the contraceptives.

Yaz and Yasmin are both made with a synthetic form of progestin called drospirenone.  In April, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the labels for Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone birth control pills would be updated to provide stronger information regarding their blood clot risks, after some studies indicated that such contraceptives were associated with as high as a three-fold increase in the risk of blood clots.

Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits allege the drugs caused a variety of dangerous side effects, including:

•    Blood clots
•    Deep Vein Thrombosis
•    Pulmonary Embolism
•    Strokes
•    Heart Attacks
•    Gallbladder problem
•    Death

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge David Herndon, who is overseeing the Yaz and Yasmin litigation, said that cases have been settling consistently.  So far, according to the Madison Record, some 1,500 lawsuits have been resolved for roughly $300 million.  The average plaintiff award comes to about $214,000, with plaintiffs who have the most serious claims being awarded the highest amounts.  Most of the cases settled thus far involve blood clot injuries.

Stephen Saltzburg, the George Washington law professor who has been appointed special master in the litigation, has said he expects that most of the Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits will settle within the next year.  Momentum for settlement began late last year when Judge Herndon postponed the litigation’s first trials, and ordered the parties to negotiate – reportedly at Bayer’s behest.

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