Yaz Lawsuits Continue Toward Possible Settlement
Brett EmisonJanuary 11, 2012 11:35 AM
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I wrote last week about a potential settlement of thousands of Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella lawsuits following Judge David Herndon's order requiring the parties to mediate and suspending bellwether trials just 9 days before the first trial was set to begin.
On Monday, Judge Herndon clarified his order. Judge Herndon made certain that currently pending case-specific and generic discovery will continue as such discovery will provide information that is critical to the valuation of these cases for settlement.
The Court also reiterated the requirement of good faith in the mediation and negotiating process. If the Court determines that the parties negotiated in good faith, but were legitimately unable to reach a settlement, then the Court will resume the bellwether process with the first trial to begin on April 30, 2012. However, if the Court determines that one of the parties has not negotiated in good faith, it will abandon the bellwether process and simply remand the individual cases for trial in their proper venue districts. The extreme cost of litigating thousands of individual cases puts increased pressure on Bayer - who manufactured Yaz - to mediate and negotiate Yaz settlements in good faith.
[Read Case Management Order No. 54]
Yesterday, the Court stayed some of the deadlines in its Order that are very close in time and which might hinder the mediation and settlement negotiation process. However, Judge Herndon kept the April 30, 2012 bellwether trial date. In maintaining the April 30, 2012 bellwether trial date, Judge Herndon also ensured there would not be a substantial delay if the mediation and settlement negotiations are not successful.
[Read Minute Order Staying Discovery and Bellwether Deadlines for 60 Days]
Why Are Yaz, Yasmin, & Ocella So Dangerous?
Popular birth control pills, Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella, have been linked to serious and potentially deadly side effects. Yaz side effects and health problems affect women of all ages, including teens and young women.
Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella have been linked to serious side effects, such as heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism (PE), deep vein thrombosis (DVT),gallbladder disease and sudden cardiac death.
Despite these serious side effects, Bayer marketed these drugs to young women not only as a contraceptive, but to relieve symptoms of severe PMS and as an acne fighter.
The FDA reprimanded Bayer [in 2009] for overstating the benefits and downplaying the risks of Yaz in television advertisements. The slogan for Yaz was "beyond birth control."
Bayer marketed Yaz to women in their 20s. Commercials cultivated a hip, youthful image set to rock music, and advertised Yaz as a treatment for acne and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
The FDA called Bayer's advertisements "misleading" and reprimanded Bayer in a number of official FDA letters. Bayer's conduct was so egregious that the FDA ordered Bayer to run a $20 million "corrective" ad campaign.
You can read the official FDA warning letters here:
The dangerous culprit in Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella is drospirenone, a synthetic (artificial) hormone that has been linked to blood clotting disorders and gallbladder disease. Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella and their generic-brand counterparts (including Beyaz and Vestura) combine estrogen with the synthetic progestin Drospirenone. No other oral contraceptive (or birth control pill) contains Drospirenone.
Drospirenone has been linked to serious side effects including blood clots, heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and even gallbladder disease.
In a recently released FDA funded study that compared several different types of oral contraceptives, those that contain drospirenone were shown to increase blood clot risks by 75%.
Blood clotting is a normal bodily function. This function normally stops blood flow from cuts and creates scabs to stop bleeding. This function repairs damage to the skin and other body tissues. However, the chemical combinations in Vestura, Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella can cause abnormal blood clotting. This results in blood clotting when it is unnecessary and inside the blood vessel, vein or artery.
These abnormal blood clots can break away from the blood vessel on which they formed. When these clots break away they travel through the blood stream and can form a blockage or become lodged inside the heart itself. This blockage can starve the flow of blood and cause a heart attack.
If the blood clot lodges in the brain (rather than the heart), it can result in a stroke.
If the blood clot lodges in the pulmonary artery that supplies blood to the lungs, it can result in a pulmonary embolism (or PE).
Despite these documented risks, Bayer continues to market and sell Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella to millions of young women. In 2010 alone, Yaz brought in profits of $1.6 billion. Bayer set aside 50 million Euro for anticipated Yaz lawsuit defense costs.
It's time for Bayer to stop putting profits over safety. It's time for Bayer to accept responsibility for its dangerous birth control pills that have ruined the lives of thousands of young women. It's time for Bayer to end this litigation through mediation and pull this dangerous drug from the market.
[More on Yaz Side Effects, Risks, and Yaz Lawsuits]
(c) Copyright 2012 Brett A. Emison
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