Seeger Weiss is pleased to announce that founding partner Christopher A. Seeger has been named to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) in the Yasmin and YAZ (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2100) by Judge David R. Herndon, United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois. More than a hundred lawsuits have been filed against Bayer Healthcare, the pharmaceutical giant that produces Yaz and Yasmin. This litigation, which is expected to include hundreds of women asserting severe health complications resulting from taking these birth control pills, was centralized in the Southern District of Illinois in October 2009 by order of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Mr. Seeger’s PSC appointment, follows his vast experience and proven leadership in other large, complex litigations, including the Vioxx® Products Liability Litigation, for which Chris Seeger and others negotiated a $4.85 billion settlement on behalf of thousands of plaintiffs.
Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella are three brands of birth control pills that pose a much greater risk of health complications than other oral contraceptives currently on the market. Reports suggest that Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella significantly increase the risk of strokes, heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder disease, pulmonary embolisms and death. The Food and Drug Administration has issued several warnings to Bayer, the maker of Yaz and Yasmin, for false advertising and below-standard manufacturing plants. The FDA requires that all three contraceptives carry the “black box label,” the most serious warning to consumers. In the first half of 2009, more than 10 million prescriptions were dispensed for the birth control pills Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella. Yaz and Yasmin alone accounted for nearly 30% of all birth control pills prescribed in the United States in 2008. You can learn more about Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella by visiting Seeger Weiss’s Yaz Resource Center.
In August 2009, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published two studies showing that drospirenone, more than any other oral contraceptive, puts women at risk for developing serious blood clots. The Journal cited 40 cases of venous thrombosis, a severe kind of blood clot, including one that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old. The Dutch College of General Practitioners recommends that its members prescribe more traditional, non-drospirenone birth control pills rather than Yaz, Yasmin or Ocella. Between 2004 and 2008, more than 50 deaths linked to Yaz and Yasmin were reported to the FDA. On August 5, 2009 the FDA issued a warning letter to Bayer for using low-quality batches of drospirenone from a plant in Germany.