Right now, there are three hotbeds of YAZ, Yasmin and Ocella litigation: Illinois, Pennsylvania, and now New Jersey. Here’s the breakdown:
ILLINOIS: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois is the keeper of all federally-filed YAZ lawsuits. The court has received these lawsuits as part of the MDL (MultiDistrict Litigation) for consolidation and coordination. Discovery common to all cases will proceed and some cases may be tried as a precursor to YAZ injury settlements. See the court’s website for a list of the 210 cases filed or transferred to that district. On October 23, Chief Judge David Herndon issued an Initial Conference Order dealing with preliminary matters, including setting the initial conference between the lawyers for November 19, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.; stating the agenda for that conference; requiring the filing of position statements prior to the conference; and mandating a preliminary meeting between the lawyers.
PENNSYLVANIA: The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas will be the center of Pennsylvania’s YAZ lawsuits. Judge Sandra Mazer Moss consolidated those cases into a “mass tort” and recently appointed liaison counsel.
NEW JERSEY: There is a request by Assignment Judge Donald Volkert, Jr. of Passaic County, New Jersey for consolidation and coordination of New Jersey YAZ, Yasmin and Ocella lawsuits. The judge has observed that the 13 lawsuits filed in his court will place a substantial strain on judicial resources, and he believes that the 39 lawsuits filed in New Jersey (with more coming) would be best served centralized in either Atlantic, Bergen or Middlesex county. The Administrative Office of the Courts will accept public comments on the issue until December 31, 2009 before making a decision. The judge did not express a preference for venue, but attorneys will likely take a position as the process continues. Consolidation of the New Jersey courts would create a single point of contact between the Illinois and Philadelphia judges, thereby streamlining coordination of nationwide YAZ lawsuits, hearings and settlements.
So, the litigation is proceeding apace. We continue to get calls every day by women and their families who have suffered tremendously at the hands of this drug—heart attack, stroke, gallbladder removal, deep vein thrombosis, pancreatitis and pulmonary embolism. If you or a loved one has questions about the YAZ, Yasmin and Ocella lawsuits, please contact us at 1.800.553.8082, or click here for an internet consultation.