U.S. District Court Judge David R. Herndon, the federal judge presiding over Yasmin and Yaz multidistrict litigation, is formulating a plan which he believes will help the parties reach a settlement. Judge Herndon made this most interesting observation in his order:
The court has no intention of presiding over anything into eternity, let alone this litigation, and the court is presently working on a process that will engage the parties in settlement discussions following the bellwether trials in a meaningful way.
More than 6,000 federal lawsuits have been filed against Bayer Corp. over Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills, alleging that the company failed to warn about risks posed by new ingredients in the oral contraceptives. The Plaintiffs claim injuries that include deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder damage, kidney stones, heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms and strokes.
Judge Herndon, who oversees the multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, has decided to allow case-specific discovery in up to 100 cases in addition to the 24 cases to be heard in upcoming bellwether trials. The first bellwether trial had been scheduled to begin in September, but the trial schedule was revised in a May status conference. Under the new bellwether trial schedule, the first trial will now begin in January 2012 and will involve a pulmonary embolism allegedly caused by Yaz.
Other trials are scheduled for April and June of 2012. Judge Herndon’s order, in addition to advising the parties of his plans to come up with a settlement process, also denied a request by the Plaintiffs to consolidate cases for the second and third bellwether trials. The second trial will involve a gallbladder injury allegedly caused by Yaz, and the third trial will involve a venous thromboembolism. If you want more information you can contact Roger Smith or Leigh O’Dell, lawyers in our Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Roger.Smith@beasleyallen.com or Leigh.Odell@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Lawyers USA Online