Malpractice News

January 9, 2012

Yaz Bellwether Trials Halted; Judge Calls in Mediator

U.S. District Judge David Herndon has called off a series of bellwether trials involving the settlement of over 10,000 lawsuits filed against drug-maker Bayer over their Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills.

Judge Herndon continued a trail slated to start on January, 9 and held in abeyance eight other bellwether trials, the Madison Recorded reports. Herndon appointed George Washington School of Law Professor Stephen Saltzburg as special master for mediation.

On January 6, one week after Judge Herndon’s ruling, Pennsylvania state court Judge Moss also ordered the thousands of state filed Yaz birth control lawsuits he is overseeing be sent to mediation. He too appointed Professor Saltzburg as special master for mediation.

Nearly all of the lawsuits filed against Bayer allege the drospirenone-containing birth control medication Yaz, Yasmin, and their generic equivalents cause serious side effects, including deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism. Generic versions of the drugs include Beyaz, Gianvi, Ocella, and Safyral.

Nearly 50 death tied to the drug have been reported to the FDA, some attorneys allege.

Plaintiffs hope the meditation is a step towards a global settlement of the litigation.

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