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Baxter Botches Another Safety Recall

On March 2 2010, FDA designated Baxter International’s January Feild Corrective Action of HomeChoice and HomeChoice PRO automated peritoneal dialysis cyclers a Class I recall. A Class I recall is the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) most serious type of recall action, and are usually only issued when a device poses a risk of serious injury or patient death.

Baxter and the FDA are conducting the recall of the HomeChoice and HomeChoice PRO devices due to reports of serious injuries and at least one death associated with increased Intraperitoneal Volume (IIPV), also known as overfill of the abdominal cavity.

The recall notice says that Baxter will not be removing the HomeChoice and HomeChoice PRO from the market, however clinicians should weigh the risks and benefits to continued use of these devices. The notice goes on to say that clinicians should also review the prescription settings for patients who continue to use these devices.

Untreated Crohn’s Disease Blamed for Child’s Death: Jury awards Plaintiffs estate 1.7 Million in damages

A Cook County jury returned a verdict in excess of $1.7 million in favor of the Estate of a 10-year-old girl who died in the early morning hours of November 13, 2002, just five days after seeing a local pediatrician at Advocate Health Centers, Inc., with complaints of periodic rectal bleeding for about one year, abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue, and a bloody watery bowel movement that day.

The 10-year-old girl had been complaining of loose stools, vomiting, streaks of blood with nearly every bowel movement for the last year, and periodic abdominal pain. On November 8, 2002, after having a bloody, watery bowel movement, her mother called the pediatrician and rushed her to their office at the Advocate Health Center in Hyde Park to discuss what she believed were serious symptoms with the doctor. The pediatrician noted all of these symptoms in his chart in addition to noting that the child had an unexpected weight loss of thirteen pounds over the last few months. The pediatrician ordered blood studies and a stool culture and sent the child home with instructions to drink clear liquids.

A few days later, the lab tests were reviewed by the pediatrician and he diagnosed the child with mononucleosis. He confirmed this diagnosis in his chart as well as in a telephone message left for the child’s mother. In the meantime, however, in the early morning hours of November 13, 2002, the child collapsed. She was rushed to Trinity Hospital and transferred to Hope Children’s Hospital where notations were made that she had a gastrointestinal bleed and had blood coming from her rectum. Efforts to resuscitate her failed and she died in the hospital soon thereafter. The Cook County Medical Examiner reported the cause of death to be a massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to an inflammatory bowel disease known specifically as Crohn’s Disease.

At trial, the attorney for the Estate, Paul R. Borth of Nolan Law Group, presented evidence that, at the time of her single office visit with the local pediatrician, the child presented with the classic signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and the pediatrician should have referred the child to a pediatric gastroenterologist or admitted her to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment. Stephanie L. Stalter of Nolan Law Group also represented the Estate at trial.

“The pediatrician knew he could not diagnose or treat inflammatory bowel disease, so he should have sent the child to a specialist who could. This child could have survived if she had been referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist for prompt evaluation and treatment,” Mr. Borth stated.

The defense denied liability at trial and argued that referral to a gastrointestinal specialist or admittance to the hospital was unwarranted and that the blood tests and stool culture ordered by the pediatrician were the appropriate first steps in forming a plan for this child’s care. Defense experts, including a world renowned pediatric gastroenterologist from the University of Chicago who has been practicing in the field for over thirty years, and a professor of gastrointestinal pathology from the University of Chicago, opined that they had never seen a death from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to Crohn’s Disease, none had been reported in medical literature, and the autopsy results and independent review of pathology slides failed to demonstrate any signs of inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s Disease.

The defense and its experts argued instead that the child died from an acute bacterial stomach infection which came on sometime after the child’s November 8 visit with the pediatrician but before her demise on November 13. The defense called the Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at Children’s Memorial Hospital who testified that this infection killed her within 24-36 hours and there was no indication that inflammatory bowel disease had anything to do with the child’s untimely demise. James W. Kopriva and Trisha K. Tesmer from Cassiday Schade, LLP, represented the local pediatrician and Advocate Health Centers, Inc.

The plaintiff contended that the child’s symptoms were the classic symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, as admitted by the defense experts. “This case was won by obtaining concessions from the defendants’ experts,” said Mr. Borth. “No one could deny that this child presented to the pediatrician with these classic signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease at that November 8 visit. The question for the jury was whether that single visit to the pediatrician was enough to prompt a referral to a gastrointestinal specialist and whether some intervening infection was the cause of this catastrophe.”
On February 26, 2010, the jury awarded $1,706.125.48 to the Estate of the child for loss of society, and medical and funeral expenses. The jury reportedly found the local pediatrician negligent for failure to refer the child to a pediatric gastroenterologist on November 8, 2002.

The Honorable James P. Flannery, Jr., presided over the trial. No. 06 L 7302.

Two Dead In Royal Air Freight Plane Crash Near Chicago Executive Airport

WHEELING, Illinois – A Learjet on final approach to the Chicago Executive Airport in northwest suburban Wheeling crashed into the Des Plaines River Tuesday January 5th killing both the pilot and co-pilot.

The small cargo plane was registered to Michigan-based Royal Air Cargo and was empty at the time of the accident. The flight left Waterford, Michigan around 1: 00 p.m. and had been hired to pick up a load in Wheeling, Illinois later that afternoon.

Emergency personnel arrived on the scene shortly after the accident and had to travel on-foot to reach the wreckage, which was submerged in about four feet of water. Authorities from several neighboring communities — Wheeling, Mount Prospect and others — sent crews to the scene of the crash. Members of the National Transportation Safety Board arrived around 4 p.m. and said the investigation would begin Wednesday morning.

Royal Air is a family run business which owns and operates both passenger aircraft and cargo planes. They have approximately two dozen aircraft and are no stranger to regulatory scrutiny, accidents and operational violations. In 1999, a Royal Air aircraft was involved in a crash in Pittsfield, Mass., which has some similarities to Tuesday’s accident. On March 25, 1999, a Royal Air plane plummeted almost 12,000 feet in less than a minute before hitting the ground. In both accidents there were sudden losses of communication just before the planes crashed. Pilot Brian Templeton, of Waterford, Mich., was killed in the 1999 accident.

A lawsuit related to the 1999 accident accident was filed by Nolan Law Group on behalf of the family of pilot Brian Templeton. According to the lawsuit, Royal Air Freight.was negligent in performing maintenance on the aircraft, autopilot and de-icing system and in supplying information to support an alternate means of compliance for an MU-2 Airworthiness Directive. Other Defendants include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Honeywell and Mid-Continent Instruments.

Royal Air was also sued by federal authorities in 1999 for cutting corners on engine maintenance and inspections. Violations listed in the lawsuit included failure to conduct scheduled inspections of engines, propellers and wing flaps and failure to produce maintenance records. The company ultimately agreed to pay $250,000 in fines for maintenance and record-keeping violations as part of an agreement with the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. Less than a year later, the FAA proposed $60,000 in additional fines against Royal Air for allegedly failing to investigate the backgrounds of 13 newly hired pilots.

American Airlines Flight 331 Likely a Preventable Accident

The December 22 American Airlines Flight 331 accident that injured more than 90 passengers has left numerous questions unanswered. However, even before the National Transportation Safety Board determines a probable cause for this accident, two things are clear from the initial reports: we are fortunate that, in light of the circumstances, the injuries sustained were not catastrophic; and, more troubling, this scenario was likely entirely preventable.

2009 has proven an interesting year for airline pilots and the flying public. In January, we witnessed the heroism of Captain Sullenberger averting disaster and gracefully landing US Airways Flight 1545 in the Hudson River. Cockpit voice recordings reveal a calm and measured reaction to a bird strike, as well as a calculated decision to land the plane in the Hudson. His professionalism, training, experience and judgment prepared him to successfully and artfully land a plane under trying circumstances.

A mere month later, Continental Air Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, crashed into a house during approach near Buffalo, NY, killing all 49 passengers and crew as well as one person the ground. Unlike Captain Sully, the pilots operating this regional flight were sleep deprived, sick, distracted and flying in inclement weather. They lacked sufficient training and resources, and were thus unqualified to be flying a plane under those circumstances.

In October, two Northwest pilots missed their destination by over 150 miles and failed to respond to air traffic controller attempts to reach them. The pilots claimed they “lost situational awareness” because they were distracted, reviewing a new company policy on a laptop. Speculation surrounding this incident has focused heavily on the theory that the pilots were in fact sleeping, again highlighting the issue of pilot fatigue.

Which brings me to the events of Tuesday night in Jamaica. The facts as they unfold have many similarities – both from an operational standpoint, as well as the aircraft type and runway environment – to Southwest Flight 1248 overran its runway in December 2005. In the Southwest accident investigation, the NTSB looked at factors such as decision to land, calculation of landing distance on a contaminated runway, company braking procedures, as well as pilot training.

Reports indicate that Tuesday’s flight in Jamaica had sufficient fuel to return to Miami, yet decided to land on the contaminated runway rather than turn around. The pilots were near timing out for their flight hours for the day, which raises the possibility of pilot fatigue impacting their decision-making process and their operation of the aircraft. Was the decision to land made based on the safety of the passengers or – considering the pressure of holiday travel, passenger frustration, pilot fatigue and cost – did the pilots decide that the safety risk was worth it?

The numerous accidents and incidents of 2009 raise serious questions about what is going on in the cockpit. The over arching question is a serious one: during these economic times, is aviation industry creating a culture of undervaluing risk to save money?

Make no mistake, there are numerous technical issues that may have contributed to the scenario that unfolded on Tuesday night, as well as the lack of preventative measures that could have mitigated damages. Moreover, the risk of human error is everpresent, and for that reason we must advocate also for additional safety measure that minimize the impact of such errors. Nonetheless, the events and mistakes outlined above are not discrete individual incidents; rather, they are evidence of a deteriorating safety culture. We are entrusting the safety of passengers to tired, overworked, and often under paid pilots who have insufficient training and distractions in the cockpit. Congress must act to ensure that the business interests of airlines do not outweigh the safety of our passengers. In 2009, Captain Sullenberger’s “Miracle on the Hudson” was an exception in a year fraught with serious safety hazards. But the reality is, he was not lucky – he was prepared. In 2010, let’s make his example the rule.

Kingston weather poor at time of American 737 overrun

While details on the American Airlines Boeing 737-800 overrun at Kingston remain sketchy, meteorological data shows poor weather conditions during arrival.

American’s timetable shows flight AA331’s scheduled arrival time is 21:10, but the carrier says the aircraft landed at 21:22CST, equating to 22:22 local.

Meteorological information from Norman Manley International Airport indicated heavy rain and possible thunderstorm activity at this time.

The airport has a single runway, designated 12/30, which has a length of 2,716m (8,910ft) but its virtually-offshore location – on a thin strip of land south of Jamaica – leaves little overrun margin at either end.

There is no confirmation of which runway the aircraft was using. While there is an instrument landing system for runway 12, the weather data indicates that this would have required landing with a tail wind.

NOTAM information, dated today, shows that the airport has restated the runway distances available to aircraft, and introduced a displaced threshold on runway 30.

American states that two of the 148 passengers were admitted to hospital for observation, but all others have been released. The jet, arriving from Miami, was also carrying a crew of six.

Damage to the 737 is substantial. Its fuselage has fractured aft of the wing, its right-hand CFM International CFM56 engine has separated and the left wing-tip has snapped.

By David Kaminski-Morrow

Plane overshoots Jamaica runway; more than 40 hurt

KINGSTON, Jamaica – An American Airlines flight carrying 154 people skidded across a Jamaican runway in heavy rain, bouncing across the tarmac and injuring more than 40 people before it stopped just short of the Caribbean Sea, officials and witnesses said.

Jamaica Flight Overshoots Runway

Workers sift through debris surrounding the fuselage of American Airlines flight AA331 which crash landed overnight on a flight from Miami to Jamaica, just beyond the runway of Norman Manley International Airport, in Kingston Jamaica, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009. More than 40 people were injured, at least 4 seriously, and there were no fatalities, according to officials, after the plane overshot the runway in Jamaica when it landed in heavy rain

Panicked passengers screamed and baggage burst from overhead bins as Flight 331 from Miami careened down the runway in the capital, Kingston, on Tuesday night, one passenger said.

The impact cracked the fuselage, crushed the left landing gear and separated both engines from the Boeing 737-800, airline spokesman Tim Smith said.

Crews evacuated dazed and bloodied passengers onto a beach from a cabin that smelled of smoke and jet fuel, passengers said. Rain poured through the plane’s broken roof, one said.

Some 44 people were taken to hospitals with broken bones and back pains and four were seriously hurt, airport and Jamaican government officials said. American Airlines said two people were admitted to the hospital and nobody suffered life-threatening injuries.

Heavy turbulence on the way to Jamaica had forced the crew to halt the beverage service three times before giving up, Pilar Abaurrea of Keene, New Hampshire, told The Associated Press by phone. The pilot warned of more turbulence just before landing but said it likely wouldn’t be much worse, she said.

“All of a sudden, when it hit the ground, the plane was kind of bouncing. Someone said the plane was skidding and there was panic,” she said.

U.S. investigators will analyze whether the plane should have been landing in such bad weather, Smith said, adding that other planes had landed safely in the heavy rain.

Passenger Natalie Morales Hendricks told NBC’s “Today” that the plane began to skid upon landing and “before I knew it, everything was black and we were crashing.”

“Everybody’s overhead baggage started to fall. Literally, it was like being in a car accident. People were screaming, I was screaming,” she said.

“There was smoke and debris everywhere,” after the plane halted, she said. “It was a mess. Everybody could smell jet fuel.”

Passenger Robert Mais told The Gleaner newspaper of Jamaica that he had heard the engine’s reverse throttle but that the plane didn’t seem to slow as it skittered down the runway.

The plane came to a halt about 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) from the Caribbean Sea and passengers walked along the beach to be picked up by a bus, Mais said. Rain came through the roof of the darkened jet and baggage from the overhead compartments was strewn about the cabin, he said.

The plane originated at Reagan National Airport in Washington and took off from Miami International Airport at 8:52 p.m. and arrived in Kingston at 10:22 p.m. It was carrying 148 passengers and a crew of six, American said. The majority of those aboard were Jamaicans coming home for Christmas, Jamaican Information Minister Daryl Vaz said.

Smith said there were two “significant” cracks in the fuselage, and the engines are designed to separate from the wings during an accident as a safety measure.

A team of six investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board was traveling to Jamaica from Washington on Wednesday morning to assist a probe led by the island’s government, agency spokesman Keith Holloway said.

The airport reopened early Wednesday after officials had delayed flights because of concerns that the plane’s tail might be hindering visibility.

Four hundred passengers waited for their flights to be cleared for takeoff, Security Minister Dwight Nelson told Radio Jamaica.

Heavy rains that have pelted Jamaica’s eastern region for four days are expected to dissipate by Thursday. Authorities said the rains washed away a 7-year-old girl on Tuesday and led to a bus crash in which two people died.

By KIRK WRIGHT, Associated Press

Associated Press Writers Danica Coto and Ben Fox in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Howard Campbell in Kingston, Jamaica; Carol Druga in Atlanta, Georgia; and Sofia Mannos in Washington contributed to this report.

The Legacy of Flight 4184

(CHICAGO) (WLS) — Saturday marks 15 years since the crash of American Eagle Flight 4184 near Roselawn, Indiana.

The disaster claimed 68 lives and changed the aviation landscape.

In the aftermath of 4184, we learned a great deal about the science of freezing rain and an entire fleet of aircraft not well suited to fly in it. We learned about warnings that went unheeded, and air traffic control procedures that would forever change. That was the technical stuff. Now we look back at the human factor.

On a quiet county road just south of Roselawn stand 68 crosses. Each bears the name of a life lost when Flight 4184 crashed into a soybean field a stone’s throw away.

The Super ATR aircraft had been in a holding pattern for O’Hare. The pilots were unaware of a deadly ice build-up that would cause the plane to roll and plunge to earth. There was little left of the plane and passengers.

Victims’ relatives- deep in grief and hungry for information could get little – from the airline or the government.

“Flight 4184 exemplified not only the tragic nature, but the utter confusion that existed during that time period,” said Don Nolan, aviation law attorney.

The pilot’s wife waited days for her husband’s employer just to call her. Airline care teams visited victims’ families and asked about their dead relatives medical histories.

Some of the unidentifiable human remains were laid to rest in a nearby cemetery. The airline conducted a service, but didn’t tell the families.

“I was angry, I was upset,” said Terri Severin.

Terri Severin lost her sister and her four year old nephew – the only child on the flight. Four months after the crash, Terri summoned the courage to go to the site. She was numbed by what she found.

“I actually walked away with bags full of plane wreckage, personal effects and human remains that were still just scattered at the site,” said Severin.

Those discoveries – plane parts, body parts four months later – became, for the relatives, the ultimate indignity.

“There were unspeakable things that occurred,” said Jim Hall.

Fifteen years ago, Hall was the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB’s singular mission then was to find out what went wrong, and to make recommendations so it doesn’t happen again. But the families? That’s for somebody else.

“I was told this isn’t your business, and I said, ‘well my goodness. If I’m being paid by the taxpayers and we’re the agency that responds to these tragedies, it has to be our business,'” said Hall.

Hall wanted change. The families of 4184 demanded it, and in concert with families from other airline crashes, they pushed for it.

Two years later, the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act was signed into law.

Today when there is a disaster, the NTSB immediately takes the lead in dealing with the needs of families from information to crash site access.

“Today, the airlines are obligated to have a disaster plan in place. Those types of plans didn’t exist 15 years ago,” said Hall.

There are now protocols for airline employee training, grief counseling, the handling of remains and the return of personal effects.

“I am still healing and it will probably be a life long journey,” said Severin.

Terry Severin has written a book and lectures on what happened after 4184. She says she learned long ago that corporations and government are not fail-safe resources in the wake of disaster.

“But I have learned that the average citizen can make a difference in turning a negative response into a positive outcome,” said Severin.

This Saturday, Terri and other 4184 relatives will return to the memorial, as they do every year, to remember, to celebrate 68 lives and, perhaps, to contemplate what’s changed since that tragic miserable night 15 years ago in a bean field just outside Roselawn, Indiana.

The NTSB’s family response model is now used internationally. But responses to disaster will always be imperfect.

Terri Severin one day opened a letter saying that the airline had some unclaimed personal effects from 4184. It turned out that a couple of her nephew’s toys were among them. Terri received that letter eight years after the crash.

For more information on Severin’s book, visit www.inthewakeofthestorm.com.

By Paul Meincke

Yasmin/Yaz and Increased Risk Of Gallbladder Injuries

While it is now well-known that the birth control pills Yasmin, Yaz, and Ocella are assocated with increased risk of blood clots, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (“DVT”), heart attack, and stroke, recent reports indicate that these birth control pills may also be connected to gallbladder problems as well.

Yaz and Yasmin contain drospirenone, a diuretic that can drastically increase a woman’s potassium levels. This condition is known as hyperkalemia. Increased potassium levels can lead to both blood clots and gallbladder damage.

Recent data suggests a spike in gallbladder disease and the presence of gallstones among otherwise healthy women. The only connection appears to be that these women are all taking one of these drospirenone-containing birth control medications.

Gallstones are formed by a concentration of bile constituents. While the cause of gallstones varies, some stones form when there is too much cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile. (Bile is a liquid that helps the body digest fats.) Other stones form if there are not enough bile salts or if the gallbladder fails to empty properly.

It is believed that Yaz can increase cholesterol levels in bile while simultaneously decreasing gallbladder movement, leading to gallstones.

Recent reports of injuries ranging from chronic gallstones to gallbladder removal surgery are coming from all across the country. In cases of gallbladder removal, a procedure known as a cholecystectomy, the victim can suffer from impaired digestion, bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea. In addition, many of those who undergo gallbladder removal surgery must make drastic changes to their diet and eating habits.

Symptoms that may occur include:

  • Abdominal pain in the right upper or middle upper abdomen:
  • May be recurrent
  • May be sharp, cramping, or dull
  • May spread to the back or below the right shoulder blade
  • May be made worse by fatty or greasy foods
  • Occurs within minutes of a meal
  • Fever
  • Yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

 

Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease include:

  • Abdominal fullness
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Excess gas
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you, or someone you love, experienced any of these symptoms after taking Yasmin, YAZ or Ocella and would like the attorneys at Nolan Law Group to review your case, please contact us.

Eye on Litigation

YAZ lawsuits are increasing throughout the country.  As of recently, a total of 32 federal lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States on behalf of YAZ victims.  These suits state claims sounding in strict liability, negligence, and failure to warn.   

On July 24, 2009, lawyers representing YAZ victims filed a petition with the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation seeking consolidation and centralization of all federal Yasmin and YAZ suits in front of Judge Carr in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.  Consolidating all of the cases in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) would bring all individual cases in front of one judge for pretrial purposes, such as discovery, depositions, and settlement discussions.  Utilizing an MDL promotes efficiency and consistency—rather than having many individual cases throughout the country, each and every case is grouped in front of a single court prior to trial.  The Panel will hold a hearing on September 24, 2009 to determine if consolidation in the MDL is appropriate.

The suits are against Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation and other Bayer related companies—companies responsible for the manufacturing of Yasmin and YAZ products. 

Bayer is a global medical conglomerate which has reported sales in the billions of dollars since the launch of Yasmin and YAZ in the birth control market in 2001.  This birth control has been reported as one of the highest earning drugs manufactured by Bayer in recent years.  In 2008, Bayer made more than $600 million dollars from it! 

Despite the growing numbers of lawsuits against it, Bayer is still raking in huge profits from women who use YAZ and Yasmin.  It recently published its 2009 Second Quarter Financial Report labeling the group of YAZ contraceptives to be its best selling pharmaceutical line with an increase of 4.1% since last quarter.  Its combined sales from these drugs amounted to an astonishing $915 million for just the first half of 2009!  Showing just how large of a company Bayer is, these YAZ products account for about 12.32% of all of Bayer’s pharmaceutical sales during this second quarter of 2009. 

Interestingly, Bayer’s report mentions another type of progestin that may be used in its drugs.  In October 2008, Bayer announced European approval for the launch of a new oral contraceptive using yet another new synthetic progestin called Dienogest.  In its release, Bayer states “For the first time, the use of estradiol in oral contraceptives is made possible with Qlaira® through the combination of estradiol with the progestin dienogest in a unique dosing regimen.”  The product is currently unavailable in the United States; it is only available in certain European countries, including Germany.  However, Bayer states that “further launches are planned for the fall of 2009.”  This will be an interesting development if the drug is approved for use in the United States.   

Two recent articles published in the British Medical Journal confirm the dangerous risks posed by YAZ and Yasmin.  One of those studies assesses the thrombotic risk associated with the oral contraceptive and the other likewise assesses the increased risk of venous thrombosis in women using these contraceptives. 

If you, or someone you love, have experienced birth control side effects from using Yasmin, YAZ or Ocella, and would like the attorneys at Nolan Law Group to review your case, please contact us.

Eye on YAZ Litigation

YAZ lawsuits are increasing throughout the country. As of recently, a total of 32 federal lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States on behalf of YAZ victims. These suits state claims sounding in strict liability, negligence, and failure to warn.

On July 24, 2009, lawyers representing YAZ victims filed a petition with the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation seeking consolidation and centralization of all federal Yasmin and YAZ suits in front of Judge Carr in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Consolidating all of the cases in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) would bring all individual cases in front of one judge for pretrial purposes, such as discovery, depositions, and settlement discussions. Utilizing an MDL promotes efficiency and consistency—rather than having many individual cases throughout the country, each and every case is grouped in front of a single court prior to trial. The Panel will hold a hearing on September 24, 2009 to determine if consolidation in the MDL is appropriate.

The suits are against Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation and other Bayer related companies—companies responsible for the manufacturing of Yasmin and YAZ products.

Bayer is a global medical conglomerate which has reported sales in the billions of dollars since the launch of Yasmin and YAZ in the birth control market in 2001. This birth control has been reported as one of the highest earning drugs manufactured by Bayer in recent years. In 2008, Bayer made more than $600 million dollars from it!

Despite the growing numbers of lawsuits against it, Bayer is still raking in huge profits from women who use YAZ and Yasmin. It recently published its 2009 Second Quarter Financial Report labeling the group of YAZ contraceptives to be its best selling pharmaceutical line with an increase of 4.1% since last quarter. Its combined sales from these drugs amounted to an astonishing $915 million for just the first half of 2009! Showing just how large of a company Bayer is, these YAZ products account for about 12.32% of all of Bayer’s pharmaceutical sales during this second quarter of 2009.

Interestingly, Bayer’s report mentions another type of progestin that may be used in its drugs. In October 2008, Bayer announced European approval for the launch of a new oral contraceptive using yet another new synthetic progestin called Dienogest. In its release, Bayer states “For the first time, the use of estradiol in oral contraceptives is made possible with Qlaira® through the combination of estradiol with the progestin dienogest in a unique dosing regimen.” The product is currently unavailable in the United States; it is only available in certain European countries, including Germany. However, Bayer states that “further launches are planned for the fall of 2009.” This will be an interesting development if the drug is approved for use in the United States.

Two recent articles published in the British Medical Journal confirm the dangerous risks posed by YAZ and Yasmin. One of those studies assesses the thrombotic risk associated with the oral contraceptive and the other likewise assesses the increased risk of venous thrombosis in women using these contraceptives.

If you, or someone you love, have experienced birth control side effects from using Yasmin, YAZ or Ocella, and would like the attorneys at Nolan Law Group to review your case, please contact us.