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Potential Yaz Class Action

By 5 November 2013Personal Injury Law

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Potential Class Action over the “Yas” “Yaz” and “Yasmin” Pill

(if you wish to be kept updated on this potential litigation, scroll to the bottom of this page)

More and more women are seeking legal advice in relation to the side effects they suffered from the use of Yaz and Yasmin contraceptive pills manufactured by Bayer. Yasmin has been linked to life-threatening side effects like blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.

The adverse effects for taking Yasmin has been known for some time now. Yasmin was launched in the Australian market in 2002 and Yaz in 2008. In 2011, a British Medical Journal published some of  the dangerous side effects of these drugs.

If it could be established that several women in Australia suffered adverse medical reactions for the use of Yaz and Yasmin contraceptive pills, there exists the possibility of filing a class action suit.

In the U.S, Bayer has settled $720 million worth of cases due to inadequate warnings.

A Bayer corporate affairs manager has said that he doesn’t anticipate lawsuits in Australia because of the cultural differences between the U.S and Australia.

What is Class Action suit?

A class action is referred to as “representative proceedings” which is brought by one or a group of persons on behalf of a class of persons or better known as “group members” in the courts of Australia.

The Court will have to resolve a common issue or issues based on the same factual circumstances that apply to a large number of people.

The concept of a class suit originates in the United States and was introduced in the Australian jurisdiction by virtue of the amendments introduced in Part IVA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) (FCAA) that took effect on 4 March 1992. It is followed by the state of Victoria by virtue of Part 4A of the Supreme Court Act 1986 (Vic) (SCA) which merely adopt the changes made to FCAA that took effect in January 2000 and New South Wales on 4 March 2011 which also adopt the existing regimes for class actions introduced in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Federal Court.

The Benefits

Once the class action has been filed in court, it is expected that all members of the class will benefit from the outcome of the proceedings unless the member “opts out” by giving notice to the Court of their intention not to be included in the case.

Some of the benefits of a class action suit include:

  • Litigation is simplified and the cost of litigation is lowered.  At the same time, litigation costs are divided among the class members;
  • The court proceedings are shortened since the court will deal with common questions of facts and law.
  • The presentation of witnesses and exhibits are shortened and the claim is processed collectively without the necessity of repeating the same proceeding for the same purpose;
  • A Class Action ensures that all plaintiffs will be equally benefited from the outcome of the case. Claims are collated in one venue and the court can divide the assets proportionately among plaintiffs;
  • It gives rise to litigation funding enterprises (Litigation Funders).  Representatives, who have no financial means to support themselves or their families during the period of litigation, can seek help from third party litigation financing companies (TPLF) for financial assistance.

Under a litigation funding enterprise a litigation funding agreement will be drawn up, under which the corporation or person agrees to pay court and lawyer fees out of its pocket. In return they will share any damages award or settlement derived from the case.

There may of course, be other options for you to consider if it were the case that you have been adversely impacted by Yaz, but wish not to be a part of a class action.
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