On September 24, 2009, a hearing was held in Richmond, Virginia before the National Panel on Multi-District Litigation with regard the lawsuits that have been filed against the manufacturers of YAZ, Yasmin and Ocella. This Panel of federal judges who oversee the establishment and coordination of mass torts litigation within the federal court system will decide shortly whether to assign all of the lawsuits pending in the federal courts to a single judge for the purposes of managing the litigation and overseeing discovery and early trials of these claims. A decision from the Panel on the need for national coordination is anticipated within the next several weeks. Individual lawsuits are also being coordinated in state court in Philadelphia before Judge Sandra Moss.
It is anticipated that thousands of individual lawsuits will shortly be filed by girls and women who suffered serious personal injuries or died as a result of their ingestion of these popular birth control pills. These lawsuits include claims that the drugs are defective, the warnings given with the drugs were inaccurate or insufficient, and that the manufacturer’s marketing of the drugs was improper. Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella (and its European counterpart Yasminelle) are considered fourth generation oral contraceptives and all contain a unique progestin component – drospirenone in addition to varying doses of ethinyl estradiol. These birth control pills have been linked to a number of serious injuries including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary emboli (PE), heart attacks, strokes, and gallbladder disease. Further information about these drugs and our firm’s involvement in the YAZ/Yasmin/Ocella litigation is available at our firm’s website.