Chief Judge David R. Herndon presiding over the Yasmin, Yaz multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois has extended a stay that will effectively push all deadlines out another 90 days for the bellwether trial process, to allow settlement negotiations between plaintiff attorneys and Bayer to continue. This is the third delay this year for the MDL.
Currently, Bayer faces nearly 11,500 Yasmin and Yaz lawsuits accusing the drug maker of failing to adequately warn consumers and physicians about the increased risks associated with the birth control medication. The lawsuits claim that several scientific studies have found that women who take Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives have an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and even sudden death.
According to Bloomberg News, Bayer reports it has agreed to settle nearly 500 Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits for an estimated $110 million. The most recent stay of 90 days extends the date for the first trials until late September 2012. If the mediation should break down, or should Judge Herndon decide that the bellwether trials would not help settlement negotiations, he will remand the cases back to the U.S. District Courts where they were originally filed.
Recently, the FDA ordered Bayer to change the labels of Yaz and Yasmin to include a warning over the increased risks of blood clots.