EAST ST. LOUIS – Litigation continues in the case of a young woman whose use of an oral contraceptive allegedly caused injuries, with District Judge David Herndon ordering two doctor’s depositions to be limited in time and scope.
Herndon's Sept. 13 order denied a motion to strike a supplemental report of Dr. Henry Rinder and granting a motion to compel additional depositions of Drs. Rinder and Mitchell Botney. The depositions will be limited to 30 minutes and only disputed documents will be discussed, the order states.
Defendant Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals argued that the plaintiffs' experts submitted untimely reports, the order states.
"In addition to its claims of untimeliness, Bayer opposes the above reports due to the defense’s inability to question the experts’ allegedly new opinions that noregestimate pills should be treated the same as levonorgestrel pills. The comparison, Bayer argues, is important to question the experts on as it bears issue to whether a safer birth control pill was available at the time Ms. Kaitlin Hamilton suffered her injuries," the order states.
In his order, Herndon held that the experts were not clear in their affidavits and declarations.
“Although plaintiffs make a solid argument that Bayer has already had an opportunity to question Drs. Rinder and Botney at their depositions to seek clarification of their opinions concerning what drugs may be considered second-generation, the court believes that the experts was (sic) not abundantly clear in their classification of norgestimate until their supplemental reports, including the affidavit and declaration, were made," he wrote. "Because of this, Bayer shall be permitted to take an additional deposition of both Dr. Rinder and Dr. Botney pursuant to FRCP 30(a)(2).”
The case was filed in 2011 against Bayer. Walter and Dianna Hamilton are parents and guardians of Kaitlin Hamilton, their incapacitated daughter. They allege Kaitlin used an oral contraceptive known as Yasmin and/or YAZ, generically known as drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol.
The original complaint alleges Bayer falsely claimed that Yaz was a safe medication.
“Defendants were negligent in failing to adhere to and/or take into consideration warnings from the FDA, who determined that the defendants were misleading the public in general, and the medical community in particular, through the use of advertisements which overstated the efficacy of Yaz/Yasmin and minimized the serious risks of the drug,” the suit states.
The plaintiffs allege that use of the drug causes cardiovascular issues including arrhythmias and myocardial infarctions, stroke and blood clots. They also claim it causes users to be unable to use other methods of birth control and they need lifelong medical monitoring.
Kaitlin Hamilton started taking Yaz in 2008, which allegedly caused her “...to suffer deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism causing respiratory arrest and cerebral ischemia on or about Jan. 28, 2010, and was caused to sustain severe and permanent personal injuries, pain, suffering and emotional distress.”
Bayer has been warned by the Food and Drug Administration three times that it overstated the efficiency of the drug and minimized its serious risks, the complaint claims.