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Families Sue Bayer Over Deaths From Yaz Blood Clots

The contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin have come over fire in recent years due to their link to blood clots, which can also cause related complications such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or stroke. More than 11,000 lawsuits involving Yaz have been filed against manufacturer Bayer.

In a number of cases, women have died due to blood clots from using Yaz, and the lawsuits have been filed by their heartbroken families after their deaths.

Young teenager’s death allegedly caused by Yaz

One such case is that of young Brittany Prewitt, who began using Yaz in 2007 when she was only 13 years old, even though she was not yet sexually active. Brittany died two years later from blood clots allegedly caused by Yaz, and her mother filed a lawsuit against Bayer.

Another mother, Paulette Morgan, likewise filed a lawsuit after her daughter, Alice, died from blood clots after Yaz use.

Similarly, Joan Cummins filed a wrongful death suit after her daughter developed a blood clot in her lungs which triggered a fatal heart attack.

In December 2011, an FDA advisory panel voted to keep Yaz on the market, despite the fact that an FDA-commissioned study showed that women who take drospirenone-containing contraceptives like Yaz have a greatly increased risk of blood clots. The panel did, however, vote to strengthen the label warning on Yaz. Four women’s advocacy groups then sent a joint letter to the FDA protesting the decision to keep Yaz on the market and expressing concern that women’s health would be jeopardized.

Bayer settles 500 lawsuits for $110 million

The thousands of Yaz lawsuits include the 6,600 cases that were consolidated into an MDL in Illinois under Chief Judge David R. Herndon. Bellwether trials in the MDL were originally scheduled to be held in January 2012, but Judge Herndon has pushed back pretrial proceedings three times so far, urging the parties to settle the lawsuits through mediation instead.

Bayer has moved to settle a number of lawsuits, including 500 cases earlier this year that resulted in $110 million in Yaz lawsuit settlements. Still, thousands of lawsuits are still pending.

In filing such lawsuits, Yaz attorneys generally argue that Bayer failed to adequately warn plaintiffs, their doctors, or the public about the life-threatening risk of blood clots after Yaz use.

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