Bayer continues to negotiate settlements for thousands of lawsuits. These days, nearly 1,500 of the more than 9,000 Yaz lawsuits that were filed against the company in federal court in East St. Louis are negotiating settlements, according to U.S. District Judge David Herndon.
Herndon has been presiding over numerous Yaz MDLs, including the bellwether trials, and has pointed out that the cases “have been settling at a consistent rate.” Lawsuits have been filed by the thousands from plaintiffs all over the country regarding the various side effects linked to Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella. Some of those side effects include heart attacks, strokes, gallbladder disease, kidney stones and blood clots. The lawsuits all accuse Bayer of knowingly failing to warn the public and healthcare professionals of the dangers linked to the pills. So many lawsuits have been filed that MDLs have been set up all over the country to help the courts speed up the discovery process in each lawsuit. Herndon has been encouraging Bayer to negotiate settlements after the company reached settlements in over a thousand cases earlier this year. He says he is confident that despite the huge list of lawsuits, the cases will be resolved in St. Louis soon.
Stephen Saltzburg, a professor at the George Washington University Law School, agrees with him. Saltzburg currently serves as special master in the Yaz MDL, a role that enables him to help the two sides of the lawsuits reach agreements.
“So far, so good,” he said of the status of the litigation. “I am cautiously optimistic that we will settle all of these cases. There are always some holdouts, but I think we will settle the bulk of these cases in the next year.”
It is hoped that settlement agreements will negate the need for bellwether trials to reach courtrooms, which could tie up the courts for a prolonged period of time. So far, Bayer has agreed to pay out more than $300 million to help resolve 9,000 Yaz cases in the East St. Louis federal court. For now, there is no way to know how many litigations will be added to the MDL in the future as lawsuits continue to be added to MDLs all over the country.