Yaz Cases in Pennsylvania

With all eyes on the Yaz lawsuits in the MDL, Pennsylvania state court cases against Bayer in Pennsylvania have proceeded. Since October 1, 2009, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (or “JPML”) established MDL No. 2100, In re Yasmin and YAZ (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, in the Southern District of Illinois to coordinate all products liability litigation involving Yasmin and Yaz.

Yaz cases in Pennsylvania are in state court because Bayer’s Bayer Corporation is an Indiana corporation, but its principal place of business in Pennsylvania.

Bayer’s efforts to slow these cases by filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently failed. Bayer claimed forum non conveniens. There was little likelihood that this appeal had a real chance – you are not going to get an appellate court to flip this issue unless the facts are egregious. My two cents: Bayer is just stalling.

There is so much talk of early mediation to resolve injury claims. But drug companies are never ready to talk settlement on cases like Yaz before the cases are filed. This is true even in “I know we did it” recall cases. It holds true with ever greater force when the company refuses to even change the product label at issue.