According to Bayer AG’s Stockholder’s Newsletter for the first quarter of 2012, the company has paid $142 million to settle 651 Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits. The average settlement per case was about $218,000. With an estimated 11,900 lawsuits involving about 14,000 plaintiffs pending against the company, it is possible that Bayer may have to pay more than $2.65 billion to resolve all the cases. Thus far, none of the cases have gone to trial.
The lawsuits stem from severe, life-threatening side effects of Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills. The pills contain a new, synthetic type of progestin known as drospirenone. Since Yasmin was first approved in 2001, evidence has been growing about the risks of drospirenone. In April 2012, the FDA announced that the warning labels on all drospirenone-containing birth control pills would be updated to warn women that studies have linked drospirenone to a three-fold increased risk of blood clots.
At this point, Bayer is only settling claims for blood clot injuries — specifically Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolisms (PE). Less than half of the cases pending against Bayer involved these injuries. Other clot-related injuries may include: heart attack, ischemic stroke, permanent disability, or death. Between 2004 to 2008, the FDA has received reports of at least 50 deaths tied to the pills. So far, leading plaintiffs’ attorneys say that Bayer is not yet settling any gallbladder injury cases.
According to the newsletter, Bayer officials stated that the settlements do not admit any wrongdoing by the company. Lawyers for plaintiffs in these cases claim that Bayer intentionally marketed the pills for unapproved uses and misled women about the risks associated with the drugs.
Indeed, the FDA sent Bayer several warning letters regarding “misleading” advertisements for Yaz and Yasmin. Three letters were sent in 2003, 2008, and 2009, indicating ongoing problems with the advertising campaign. The FDA repeatedly called the advertisements “misleading” because they “failed to communicate any risk information.” The FDA was also concerned that early Yasmin advertisements implied that the drug was superior to other birth control pills, without providing risk information.
The cases against Bayer have been consolidated into one court, before U.S. District Judge David Herndon in East St. Louis, Illinois. Judge Herndon had scheduled jury trials for early 2012, but Bayer requested mediation. Steven Saltzburg, a George Washington University law professor, was called in to mediate potential settlements in the litigation. The jury trials are currently on hold, and it is unlikely that any will begin this year.
Do I Have a Yasmin Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Yasmin lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has suffered from severe side effects after taking Yasmin, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.