Lawyers in East St. Louis, IL representing plaintiffs against the pharmaceutical giant Bayer have persuaded Judge David Herndon to revise a privacy ruling that had previously been negotiated with the company.
In mid-September, Judge Herndon handed down a ruling that prevented Bayer from editing documents that had been delivered to plaintiffs in the matter of Yaz, Yasmin, and other similar contraceptives. Previously, it had been ruled that Bayer would be allowed to censor from its sales strategy guides any information about drugs containing drospirenone, the same active in ingredient contained in Yaz and Yasmin. The sales strategy documents are said to be more than 30 million pages long. Workers will be required to search the pages and revise the document once more to restore it to its original state. Bayer must also provide the reason for each revision.
Bayer came under scrutiny when a group of people filed a suit alleging that Yaz and Yasmin have caused harmful side effects, including strokes and even death. In early August, Bayer filed for a protective injunction that would prohibit the plaintiffs from investigating Natazia, another Bayer manufactured contraceptive which relied upon a different active ingredient than the one used in both Yaz and Yasmin. Later in the month, lead counsel for the plaintiffs filed a motion that would include the redaction rules. Denton also filed for a motion against the protective order for Natazia. Herndon eventually changed the redaction rule, citing that the censored information could possibly lead to the discovery of admissible evidence in the case.
Herndon stated that the redaction made to the exhibits presented by counsel made the documents virtually useless. He was appointed by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation and presides on more than 3,000 cases involving damages allegedly caused by the consumption of Yaz and Yasmin.
Judge Herndon has scheduled to hold a conference on October 12.