On March 14, 2011, lawyers on behalf of plaintiffs in a federal Yaz lawsuit against Bayer filed a motion to give them more time to gather and review evidence. The extension for discovery deadline will end up prolonging the trial start date.

The extension request is likely caused by the size and difficulty of the issues in the case, as it can take a long time for lawyers to be able to sift through all of the documentation in search of relevant and usable information. Both sides can agree that they want the core case-specific discovery timeline to be extended. They basically want the bellwether trial dates to be pushed back from March 14 to April 14. They also want the trial that is set to start on September 12, 2011, moved back to January 9, 2012.

“Despite the herculean efforts of counsel for both sides, the scope of what stands before them under the current trial schedule poses an unrealistic burden,” says one legal team’s arguments in the motion.

The plaintiff’s lawyers are claiming that they have to sift through as many as 50 million documents that they got from Bayer. They have to go through them all try to guess how many more pages — potentially millions — they will need before they are going to be ready to go to trial.

The minutes taken from a status conference that was held recently with Judge Herndon, the judge overseeing the Bellwether trials, showed that there are as many as 51 depositions that have already been taken so far. There have been 23 depositions taken from defense witnesses, with another 36 to go. Since Bayer is based in Europe, the depositions will likely be taken there.

The Bellwether trials will be focused on the side effects that patients suffer from while taking Yaz and Yasmin amid claims that Bayer willfully hid the life-threatening risks from the public. The side effects that will be the focus of these trials include pulmonary embolisms, gallbladder disease, strokes and deep vein thrombosis.