As more and more women who’ve suffered side effects after taking the birth control Yaz come forward with legal action, Bayer Pharmaceuticals has announced the start of case settlements. However, the outcome of a case may depend largely on the lawyer involved.
According to court records, more than 6,000 women have filed claims in a consolidated federal court set up to handle the litigation. Thousands more will file a lawsuit in a separate state action.
Most of the suits allege women suffered severe blood clot-related side effects such as DVT, Pulmonary Embolism or Stroke after taking the popular oral contraceptives.
In the past few years, the FDA has issued warnings over the drug’s safety and several studies have linked it to a dramatic increase in the occurrence of blood clots.
Separate studies published by the British Medical Journal in 2009 and the FDA in 2011 have associated Yaz use with as much as a 75% increase in blood clot risks.
As the first cases were scheduled to begin in a Federal Multi-District Litigation court in Illinois in late 2011, Judge David Herndon postponed litigation indefinitely and urged the parties to attempt to settle the cases.
According to the annual report released by Bayer on February 13, 2012, the company had settled 70 of the cases to date. No details or amounts of the settlements were given and the company has not admitted any fault.
As is often the case in mass tort litigation, experts predict the firms who have a large number of cases, as well as the experience and resources to pursue them, may see their cases settled earlier as Bayer resolves the biggest threats first. Therefore, it is very important to find out which firm you should trust with your case.