Of the 9,000 Yaz and Yasmine oral contraceptive lawsuits filed in East St. Louis federal court, 1,500 have been settled, the Madison Record reports Chief U.S. District Judge David Herndon as saying.
Judge Herndon was appointed to oversee the litigation by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation two years ago, after thousands of plaintiffs began accusing the birth control pills of causing strokes, heart attacks, clots, and embolisms. The lawsuits also say the manufacturers of the oral contraceptives failed to adequately research the medications, and failed to warn consumers and their physicians about the risks of the drugs.
Stephen Saltzburg, appointed by Herndon as the Special Master Mediator in the litigations said, “I am cautiously optimistic that we will settle all of these cases. There are always holdouts, but I think we will settle the bulk of these cases in the next year.”
Saltzburg said that birth control manufacturer Bayer has “agreed to pay out more than $300 million so far.” The amount averages to nearly $214,000 per settlement, which Saltzburg is quick to point out that not all plaintiffs will receive that much, as more serious claims reach higher settlement amounts, while other plaintiffs settle for less.
Saltzburg said, “I believe the rest will go fairly quickly. It’s speeding up as the lawyers are getting word out there as to what cases have settled for. And that’s a good thing because it means that cases will settle faster. It’s not certain, but it’s likely.”