I’m willing to guess these are the first questions that come to mind for anyone considering filing a claim or anyone who has. The answer is complicated and best answered by a lawyer, but even then, it’s unlikely they’d have an easy answer.
Here is a Q&A that has been updated since it was first posted. It is from a lawyer’s website (Saiontz & Kirk) and although the article itself isn’t groundbreaking, the comments are what I found interesting, especially those from Austin Kirk dated May 8th and June 18. Austin Kirk I can only assume is a lawyer or at least a clerk at the family owned Sainotz & Kirk law firm. Commenter “billy” seems pretty informed, which makes me think he/she is a plant, but either way it puts the info out there, which I found interesting and useful.
billy says:May 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm Are the cases getting settled by rankings of severity? My understanding is that half of the original 11,000 are true PE or DVT cases and can be settled. If 651 have been settled as of 5/12 that still leaves over 5000 left to settle! Perhaps these latter cases are more severe and may actually receive a just settlement they deserve. Bayer paying out a meger $218,000 per settlement is to me chopped liver and an insult to the damage yaz has caused these families. Lets hope the folks who received this were not as severly affected by the yaz drug as others are. I would be horrified to think a severe case was settled for that pittance. Is there a lawyer in this forum that can answer any of these questions?
Austin Kirk says:May 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm @billy – It is probably a fair estimate that about half are PE or DVT. Early figures in the federal MDL suggested that about 40-45% of the filed cases involved a venous thromboembolism, such as a DVT or PE. About 10% of the cases involved strokes or other outcomes, which generally resulted in more severe or catastrophic consequences. Bayer is negotiating individual cases based on the circumstances and consequences of the injury. This is being done on a rolling basis and on a firm-by-firm basis. The reported averages are just that, averages, which are impacted by the exact make-up of each case that is part of the settlement group. I hope that this has answered your questions, but please feel free to contact me at (800) 522-0102 if you have any further questions.
billy says:June 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm Can any of the lawyers on this blog outline how the process for settling these cases is progressing? The last news I have found is the news back in April of 70 cases being settled then in may of 651 cases settled. Since then, no news about any cases being settled. Is the process stalling or is settling still occuring just off the record? Surly Bayer knows that settling quickly would be far better for them than huge trial settlements. Thanks for any info you can provide.
Austin Kirk says:June 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm @billy – Settlements are continuing in the Yaz litigation, but we are not aware of any updates to the reported number of cases resolved. A status conference before Judge Herndon in the federal MDL is scheduled for this week, but I imagine that further proceedings will be stayed so that negotiations can continue. Given the large number of cases, Bayer is negotiating small batches on a firm-by-firm basis. Most rounds of settlement discussions have involved around 20 cases at a time.
Factors that might affect your settlement:
- Is your claim for DVT/PE or gallbladder injuries? As of today, only blood clot cases are being considered for settlement. The gallbladder cases seem to be left out in the cold with little known as to their future.
- How severe are your injuries? If they are dealing with the least complex cases first your case may not be up for consideration for quite some time.
- Who is your lawyer? Remember, there are 12K cases and it’s growing each day. My instincts tell me the top law firms are going to get the most attention first, specifically those who had lawyers on the MDL steering committee – although I can’t confirm that, it’s just a guess.
- When did you file your claim? Between the time I contacted my lawyer and received my court documents it had been a full year. Our judicial system is not known for its speed of process.
- Do you even qualify for a settlement? Consider whether you have pre-existing health conditions that would have caused you to clot on any form of birth control pill, not just one with Drospirenone? Did you have all the clotting risk factors – older, overweight, smoker, family history of clots?
In the end only a qualified lawyer (and Bayer’s lawyers) will ultimately be able to answer any of these questions. Until then, we wait.