Last month, German drug manufacturer Bayer released their latest financial reports showing sales of the once-leading birth control pill Yaz has slowed by more than 10% in the past year.
Hidden deep in those records was additional information showing the company has spent nearly $2 billion on settlements for those who have been hospitalized for blood clots issues like stroke, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.
Now, lawyers are warning that the settlements that have been ongoing for years could be close to conclusion. They are urging anyone who may qualify to file a claim as soon as possible.
Bayer originally faced more than 11,000 lawsuits from women around the United States who had suffered severe side effects like blood clots. Some of the claims even involved patient death.
The company chose to settle many of these cases rather than face the public attention of trials. They have now settled more than 10,000 cases for blood clots or gallbladder injury, with the average for Yaz blood clot settlements at more than $200,000 per victim.
This month, a special federal panel tasked with handling the Yaz claims in a central court reported that 8,433 were still pending as of August 15th.
However, lawyers caution that those affected may soon face statute of limitation restrictions if they don’t take action to preserve their legal rights. Also, they can only file a Yaz lawsuit if their injury occurred prior to June of 2012.
Last summer, the Department of Justice unveiled the details of an ongoing lawsuit and resulting settlement against industrial giant 3M, claiming the company had furnished defective combat earplugs to millions of U.S. troops serving around the world.
The FDA enacted tough new regulations this week aimed at making sure all women who are considering implantation of the Essure birth control device fully understand all the risks and benefits before moving forward.