Use of YouTube for Notice in Class Actions

Siskinds LLP launched the first individual civil suit last Friday against Baer for its birth-control products Yasmin and Yaz. From the CBC:

Yasmin, which is made by Bayer Inc., is one of Canada’s top-selling birth control pills. It is a so-called “fourth generation” hormonal contraceptive and is considered “low dose.”

The announcement of the suit, launched Friday in London, Ont., comes ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s public hearings on the oral contraceptive scheduled for Dec. 8 in Maryland.

The FDA’s reproductive health and drug safety committee will be looking at the safety of Yasmin and its unique progestin, drospirenone.

When researching the case on the firm’s website, I noticed a related class action launched on March 10, 2010, accompanied by a professionally-produced YouTube video on the case of October of last year, available here.

There are a number of notice requirements under the Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, which allow the court to determine notice by “means that the court considers appropriate.”

Given the broader reach of the Internet for the public, we’ll likely see these types of videos used as a primary or part of the means of notice in the future. Video production could be an important area of growth for marketing agencies working closely with law firms, and for in-house communications staff for some of the larger firms.

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  1. Health Canada completed a safety review of these products and released additional information today available here.