If Mediation Fails, Yaz Trials Will Proceed

A U.S. District Court Judge recently postponed nine "bellwether trials" against drug-maker Bayer involving injuries allegedly caused by their popular contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin - these were going to be the first trials of more than 10,000 lawsuits filed regarding Yaz and Yasmin.

Alleged Yaz and Yasmin Side Effects

Contraceptives made by Bayer - including Yaz and Yasmin - generated $1.58 billion in sales during 2010, and are used by women throughout the nation.

Given their wide use, for the sake of judicial economy, the federal cases filed against Bayer were consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois. Alleged Yasmin and Yaz side effects claimed in the suits range from strokes and heart attacks to pulmonary embolisms - and in some cases even death.

In fact, last year the FDA examined data on more than 835,000 women who were taking drospirenone - including YAZ - and found a 74 percent increased risk of developing blood clots than women on low-estrogen contraceptives.

Judge's Order

U.S. District Court Judge David Herdon ordered Bayer to enter into mediation with the alleged victims before mediator Stephen Salzburg, a George Washington University professor of law.

The judge further clarified his order on January 10th, when he stated that if mediation fails in good faith, the first trial will begin on April 30th. However, he also warned that if the parties fail to act in good faith, he will begin remanding the cases to the districts in which they originated.

Obviously, this is a pivotal time in the Yaz and Yasmin litigation. What transpires in the next few months could impact all pending and subsequent Yaz lawsuits.

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