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A Complaint Against Yaz Joins Coordinated Proceedings In California

According to a new complaint against Yaz, plaintiff Maria Cunningham, a 57-year-old woman, alleged that she suffered severe injuries due to Yaz blood clots that caused her death. The case joined the Yaz coordinated proceedings in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles on July 19, 2012. The plaintiff’s attorney has adopted, on her behalf, the master complaint filed in Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella Contraceptive Cases. The lawsuit seeks to hold manufacturer Bayer liable for her injuries.

Overseeing the coordinated cases in Los Angeles is Judge Carolyn B. Kuhl. A number of plaintiffs have made claims related to side effects resulting from Yaz in this district. Those side effects include deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. The court is currently involved in discovery and witness testimony, which is combined for all cases This is done to increase efficiency and reduce the risk of inconsistent rulings.

The progestin in Yaz said to increase the risk of stroke

Because all combined hormonal birth control pills have been associated with blood clots, the risk of stroke has always been present. Yaz and Yasmin, however, which use the newer progestin called “drospirenone,” seem to increase risk of stroke by a higher percentage that older birth control pills.

A 2009 study, for example, found that women taking pills made with drospirenone were nearly seven times more likely to develop serious blood clots than women not taking the pill. Other studies have also shown that drospirenone increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (dvt as a result of Yaz) in which a blood clot can form in one of the deep veins of the body, typically in the legs.

A new study released on June 14, 2012, also found that birth control pills like Yaz and Yasmin may double a woman’s risk of stroke and heart attack compared to other hormonal contraceptives. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the research was based on 15 years of data from more than 1.6 million women.

Strokes and their causes

Maria Cunningham allegedly suffered a cerebrovascular accident as a result of a blood clot on or about January of 2004. This is another way of describing a stroke.

When blood flow to the brain is disturbed or interrupted in some way, a stroke results . The brain is starved of oxygen, which can cause some cells to die, whereas others may be damaged. Most strokes occur when blood clots block one of the arteries that carry blood to the brain. Patients may be left with lifelong side effects like paralysis, inability to communicate, and loss of hearing and vision, but they may also die, as Ms. Cunningham did.

Multiple counts against Bayer

Ms. Cunningham’s lawyer is bringing counts of failure to warn, manufacturing defect, negligence, breach of warranties and fraud. The lawyer is likely to blame Bayer for failing to conduct adequate safety studies prior to releasing Yaz and Yasmin, and for failing to adequately warn of the risks. In April 2012, the FDA required new stronger warnings about blood clots on the product labels.

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