When pharmaceutical manufacturer Bayer came out with Yaz, the drug was heavily marketed as a revolution in birth control, providing the same medicinal benefits with significantly less side effects. However, what the company failed to mention was one new danger of the drug: an increased risk of serious injury and death due to stroke, heart attack, and pulmonary embolism.
The company was ultimately forced to create a marketing campaign to educate users on the serious risks of Yaz and related medications, but not before drug users saw disastrous results. The oral contraceptives have caused over 50 deaths, countless injuries, and thousands of wrongful death lawsuits by Yaz users and their families against Bayer.
Last week, a New Jersey woman filed suit against Bayer, alleging that her 18-year-old daughter's sudden death was a direct result of her use of Yaz. In her lawsuit, the woman claims that the company failed to warn Yaz users of the dangers of blood clots, heart attack and stroke, and that it is therefore responsible for her daughter's death.
The young woman, a freshman at Elon University, was on her way to class when she suddenly collapsed. She could not be resuscitated. Doctors later determined that a blood clot had entered the victim's lungs, causing a severe and sudden drop in blood pressure. The victim had recently been prescribed Yaz for the treatment of acne.
Yaz is a relatively new form of oral contraceptive that uses a combination of ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone, a new type of progestin, to prevent pregnancy. Drospirenone, which impacts the body's regulation of salt and water, has been linked to elevated potassium levels. This can cause hyperkalemia, which, in turn, is linked to blood clots and heart problems.
Currently, approximately 7,000 wrongful death and product liability lawsuits are pending against Bayer. The cases will likely be consolidated and heard next year.
If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries as a result of a dangerous or defective product, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.
Source: AboutLawsuits.com, "Yaz Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Mother of New Jersey Teen," 13 May 2011