Those women that have been suffering from blood clots or strokes from taking Yaz/Yasmin have finally found out when their Yaz lawsuits will go to trial. Judge Nerndon has decided to enforce the Bellwether approach as a means of deciding which trials will reach trial first.
The Bellwether approach is used by the majority of courts when there is a significantly large number of cases where all of the plaintiffs that are filing lawsuits are doing so for the same reason. For example, in the Yaz/Yasmin cases, all of the lawsuits being filed are making the same claim against Bayer, the makers of the popular birth control pill. They are all claiming that Bayer failed to properly warn the public about the adverse side effects associated with Yaz/Yasmin. Taking the Bellwether approach will help the courts to handle the large caseload.
How it works is that a group of Yaz/Yasmin cases will be picked to reach trial before all of the rest of them. These first cases will be expected to represent the whole of the others. This method is chosen because it is meant as a way for the lawyers involved in the filing of claims to get a better understanding of what to expect. Basically it is used to help plaintiffs to predict what the potential outcomes will be for their own claims.
When the trials are set to begin, each side of the lawsuit will choose 12 case claims to take to trial. This means that a total of 24 plaintiffs will see their cases go to trial before the rest of them do. Under the Bellwether approach, the first Yaz cases to go to trial will be as follows: the Pulmonary embolism case will begin on September 12, 2011. The gallbladder case will begin on January 9, 2012. The thromboembolic (VTE) case will begin on April 2, 2012.