August 1, 2012 — Yasmin lawsuits are continuing to settle at a consistent pace. In a stockholder newsletter, Bayer AG announced that they have paid $402.6 million to settle nearly 1,900 Yasmin lawsuits.
Approximately 10,000 lawsuits remain. Most of the plaintiffs allege that Bayer failed to adequately warn about the risk of blood clots, which could cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke. So far, each Yasmin lawsuit for a venous blood clot injury has settled for an average of $212,000.
Bayer has also set aside $610.5 million to settle Yaz lawsuits. The company previously set aside about $250 million in 2010 and 2011. In total, analysts estimate that Bayer may be forced to pay $1.2 billion to settle the lawsuits.
Despite the loss, the stockholder newsletter noted that the company expects to see increased revenue. Revenue forecasts were up 4-5%, to approximately $50 billion dollars.
Bayer has agreed to settle 1,877 cases out of about 12,000 lawsuits. About half of the lawsuits were filed by women who suffered venous blood clot injuries, and Bayer is actively settling these cases. Venous blood clots tend to form deep inside the legs, where they can cause venous damage or break loose, travel in the bloodstream, and cause a pulmonary embolism.
So far, Bayer has refused to settle lawsuits from women who were injured by arterial blood clots after taking Bayer’s contraceptives. Arterial blood clots can cause heart attack, stroke, brain damage, and death. Some of the most serious injuries were caused by these blood clots. Bayer has also refused to settle lawsuits from women who claim the contraceptives caused gallbladder disease or gallstones.
The lawsuits are currently centralized in a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), which allows each lawsuit to remain independent, but increases efficiency by consolidating the litigation in one federal court. Judge David Herndon is currently presiding over the matter in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, East St. Louis.
Judge Herndon had scheduled a series of trials, but Bayer requested mediation instead. Stephen Saltzburg, a prominent law professor at George Washington University, was appointed to mediate a potential settlement. Saltzburg has been successfully negotiated settlements between Bayer and plaintiff’s lawyers, and he expects the majority of the settlements to wrap up sometime next year.
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