Whether the statute of limitations would bar a claim is dependent on the laws of the state where the injury occurred. “Approximately 85 percent of the states have a two-year statute of limitations triggered by discovery of the connection between the injury and Yasmin or Yaz,” explains Lowe. “The discovery rule is typically dependent on the learned intermediary doctrine.”
This means if the defendant adequately warned their doctors, then that is all that Bayer needs demonstrate to determine when the start the statute of limitations will begin.
Yasmin and Yaz Label Warnings
Typically you look at the FDA-approved labels and label changes which are provided to the doctors to determine if the doctor knew or should have known of the risks of these oral contraceptives.
The label for Yaz, Yazmin and Ocella was updated to warn of cardiovascular side effects by the manufacturer (Bayer) and approved by the FDA. However, Lowe says their argument is that the warning wasn’t adequate and the doctor wasn’t put on notice. “When a manufacturer, in this case Bayer, makes changes to its label, they have to issue a statement to the health care provider. They also have an extensive database and know all the doctors who are prescribing their birth control pills.”
The Yaz and Yasmin labels updated for cardiovascular warnings were approved by the FDA in 2010, 2011 and 2012, but Lowe states that Yasmin and Yaz have a greater risk than the second generation (older) birth control pills and that wasn’t explained until the 2011 label. (Birth control pills containing drospinerone are in the fourth generation category.)
“Given this fact, the statute of limitations doesn’t start running until at the earliest, March 11, 2011 when the new label came out or even April of 2012 when they revised the label again,” says Lowe. So this means that you might have until March 2013 to contact the attorneys and they will file a complaint on your behalf.
Lowe and his firm have recently been settling Yasmin, Yaz and Ocella lawsuits. “We send our clients’ claims to Bayer medical records and they inform us if they want more information,” he explains. “Bayer then gives us a list of cases that they are ready to negotiate a settlement with. To date we have settled four different rounds of cases involving 150 people and we are looking at probably another 100 cases.
"All of our clients have suffered deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolisms or even venous strokes. I can tell you that all of our clients are happy with the settlements, but some people are still suffering Yaz and Yasmin side effects, from overnight stays in ER to 12 days of hospitalization on long-term anti-coagulation drugs.”
As for gallbladder cases, Lowe says that so far, Bayer is unwilling to negotiate. “We are still going forward with the gallbladder cases but they have been put on hold for now until the thromboembolic cases are resolved,” he says.
READ MORE YASMIN BIRTH CONTROL LEGAL NEWS
Apr. 2010: The FDA updates the safety label, warning of potential thromboembolic disorders and vascular problems.
Mar. 2011: The FDA approves a Yaz label change addressing the increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) during the patient’s first year of taking the drug. The change addresses all combined oral contraceptives (COC).
Dec. 2011: An FDA advisory panel decides that the current labels, which only cite ambiguous research findings, do not adequately warn women about the potentially fatal blood clot risk.
Feb. 2012: The safety label on Yasmin, Safyral and Beyaz is updated to include the increased risk of VTE during the first year of use; this is the same modification applied to Yaz in March 2011.