Company Annual Report 2009: "Bayer believes that it has meritorious defenses and intends to defend itself vigorously."
(Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)
The Bayer Annual Report for 2009, at page 243, provides some updated information about the number of YAZ, Yasmin, and Ocella lawsuits that have been filed thus far:
As of February 15, 2010, there were about 1,100 lawsuits pending in the United States served upon Bayer on behalf of persons alleged to have suffered personal injuries, some of them fatal, from the use of Bayer’s oral contraceptive products Yasmin®, YAZ® and / or Ocella, a generic version of Yasmin® distributed by Barr Laboratories, Inc. in the U.S. market. Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages, claiming, in particular, that Bayer knew or should have known the alleged risks and should be held liable for having failed to disclose them or adequately warn users of Yasmin® and YAZ®.... Additional lawsuits are anticipated. Bayer believes that it has meritorious defenses and intends to defend itself vigorously. Bayer is also taking over Barr´s defense in certain cases according to the parties´ supply and licensing agreement....
Previously, in mid-October 2009, Bayer said that there were only 129 Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits filed in the U.S.
YAZ, Yasmin, and Ocella birth control pills are made with ethinyl estradiol (EE) and drospirenone (DRSP). In fact, YAZ, Yasmin, and Ocella are the only birth control pills to contain drospirenone.
These popular oral contraceptives have been associated with several serious side effects such as:
- deep vein thrombosis (DVT);
- pulmonary embolism (PE);
- strokes, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA);
- heart attacks, or myocardial infarction (MI);
- gallbladder problems and gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy);
- kidney failure or renal failure; and,
All YAZ, Yasmin, and Ocella personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits filed in the federal court system have been consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois as part of MDL No. 2100 -- IN RE: Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing and Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation. U.S. District Court Judge David R. Herndon is presiding over these Yaz and Yasmin cases for "coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings".
More recently, in mid-February 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court consolidated all state court lawsuits against Bayer and Barr Phamaceuticals for injuries and damages allegedly arising from the use of the oral contraceptives Yaz, Yasmin, and the generic drug Ocella. Those cases are now part of In Re YAZ®, Yasmin® and Ocella® Litigation, Case No. 287 (Bergen County), and have been assigned to the New Jersey state court Judge Brian R. Martinotti, who has already issued his Initial Case Management Order for this litigation.
Earlier, in mid-September 2009, Judge Sandra Mazer Moss, who runs the mass tort program for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, consolidated all lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania state court that involve YAZ or Yasmin for case management and discovery purposes.
We will continue to monitor and report about the YAZ, Yasmin, and Ocella lawsuits that have been filed in the federal court MDL as well as the New Jersey and Pennsylvania state court consolidations.
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