According to Bayer’s newsletter to stockholders (October 2013), about 7,660 Yasmin and Yaz claimants have settled with Bayer for almost $1.575 billion. The company also said that 2,300 drospirenone birth control lawsuits are pending, all alleging deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the legs, arms or pelvis) or pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung). Bayer has also settled almost 9,000 Yasmin gallbladder lawsuits for approximately $24 million.
And according to lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC, court documents indicate there are a total of 11,677 Yasmin and Yaz lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, and of those claims, 9,055 are still pending litigation. Although these claims are being settled, Bayer has not admitted liability in pulmonary embolism, DVT or gallbladder suits.
While Yasmin and Yaz lawsuits are pending, in April 2014, a Chicago jury awarded a Yasmin victim $14 million after a two-week trial in Cook County Circuit Court (Case No. 09 L 4061). This verdict was reached against the doctor and the medical center where she was treated and not Bayer, although a number of lawsuits allege that Bayer has caused strokes as a result of Yasmin or Yaz. The 37-year-old woman suffered a stroke just 13 days after taking the birth control pill. She is left with brain injury, including speech problems, and paralyzed on one side of her body.
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Sylvia recently filed a claim and is hopeful Bayer will soon settle with her. At first she thought her case was past the statute of limitations, but her Yasmin attorney says that Sylvia had a pulmonary embolism as a result of Yasmin and is entitled to a settlement. She was a healthy and active 24-year-old who never smoked. “I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism and hospitalized for five days,” Sylvia says. “Right away the doctor asked if I was taking birth control with drospirenone in it. I didn’t even know what that was, until he asked if I was taking Yasmin or Yaz. I’m fine now but I will never be able to take a hormone drug again, and believe me, I will be wary of taking any drug for the rest of my life.”