Bayer Settles Some Yaz and Yasmin Birth Control Lawsuits, Others Still Pending
In February 2014, Bayer reported that the pharmaceutical company had agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle 8,250 claims from women or family members who alleged that Yaz and Yasmin had caused serious personal injury or wrongful death because of blood clots.
The multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Bayer – MDL 2100, US District Court, Southern District of Illinois – has consolidated over 9,000 personal injury cases against Yaz and Yasmin, and accuse the manufacturer of fraudulent concealment, strict liability, breach of implied and express warranties, negligently failing to warn, negligence, fraud, and engaging in deceptive trade policies. Plaintiffs seek recovery of medical costs because of the dangerous side effects from Yaz and Yasmin, as well as compensation for mental and emotional damages and lost wages. According to one estimate, around 100 women have died from complications related to taking Yaz or Yasmin birth control pills.
Yasmin was approved for use by the FDA in 2001, and Yaz was approved in 2006. Shortly after Combined Oral Contraceptives (COC’s) like Yaz and Yasmin were introduced to the market, doctors and researchers found that the pills could increase chances of blood clots, heart attacks and arrhythmias, and strokes, compared to women not taking the pills. Second and third generation progestins were developed to help combat the problem, and Bayer later developed a fourth generation progestin, drospirenone, which no other birth control on the market contains.
“I didn’t think anything bad could happen, especially since a doctor was giving it to me,” plaintiff Maggie Yunker said. “Any medicine has risk factors, but when you’re 20 you don’t think about it.”
The drug company agreed to settle lawsuits with women who had heart attacks or strokes, pulmonary embolism, or deep vein thrombosis that could be traced back to Yaz and Yasmin prescriptions. However, Bayer still faces 4,600 additional personal injury claims involving the birth control pills which the company has not yet agreed to settle.
Numerous lawsuits allege that Yaz and Yasmin cause venous or arterial thromboembolism, a blood clot that forms in arteries or veins and can break off and cause other serious conditions such as stroke or heart attack.
Several plaintiffs also allege that Yaz or Yasmin caused gallbladder injuries, often resulting in the removal of the organ. After refusing to consider a settlement for birth control-related gallbladder injuries, in March 2013, Bayer finally agreed to repay women for the costly surgery. However, the settlement amount was capped at $24 million.
Critics of Yaz and Yasmin have urged the Food and Drug Administration to issue a drug recall for the birth control pills, stating that there are safer alternatives on the market.
“A substantial number of women take the pills for issues such as difficult, irregular or painful periods,” said Diana Zuckerman, President of the National Research Center for Women & Families. “But the benefits of regulating periods do not outweigh the risk of potentially fatal blood clots. … If a woman wants lighter, more regular periods, she has many pills to choose from.”
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Our South Carolina defective drugs lawyers are investigating and evaluating potential lawsuits throughout the United States for claims on behalf of victims who suffered harmful side effects after taking a bad drug.
Call the Strom Law Firm for a free consultation regarding your personal injury claim to see if we can help you. Even if you do not hire us, we can make sure you are on the right path and know what to do next. 803.252.4800