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Yaz Birth Control Lawsuit: New Jersey Mother Charges Yaz Birth Control Drug Caused Daughter's Death

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 2011 - Wendy R. Fleishman of the national plaintiffs' law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Lisa Rodriguez of the New Jersey-firm, Trujillo, Rodriguez, and Richards, LLC, announced that Joan Cummins of Hackettstown, New Jersey, today filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bayer Corporation charging that its oral contraceptive, Yaz, caused the sudden death of her eighteen-year old daughter, Michelle Pfleger.

Eighteen-year old Michelle Pfleger of Hackettstown, New Jersey, died last September on her way to a college class. On May 10, 2011, her mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceutical Corporation charging that Michelle Pfleger's death was caused by a fatal side effect from Bayer's birth control drug Yaz. (Photo: Business Wire)

On September 24, 2010, Michelle Pfleger collapsed on the way to her morning class at Elon University in North Carolina. The emergency team rushed Michelle to a nearby hospital, but despite all of their efforts, they were unable to save her. The autopsy report showed that Michelle died from cardiac arrest triggered by a pulmonary emboli, which is a blood clot in the lungs that can lead to abnormally low blood pressure and sudden death. Michelle was prescribed Yaz for the treatment of acne. The Complaint charges that Yaz caused the fatal blood clot in Pfleger's lungs.

"As alleged in the Complaint, Yaz is a dangerous prescription drug sold without adequate warnings about the risks of serious and fatal injuries," stated attorney Wendy R. Fleishman. "Bayer failed to warn doctors and patients that Yaz poses a greater risk of serious side effects than previous generations of oral contraceptives."

The filing of the wrongful death lawsuit follows the publication last month of two studies in the British Medical Journal finding that women taking oral contraceptives with the hormone drospirenone, which includes Bayer's Yaz and Yasmin, have a three-fold or two-fold increased risk of developing serious blood clots than women taking earlier-generation oral contraceptives that do not contain drospirenone. In one study, the risk of blood clots in the veins and the lungs was more than three times greater for women prescribed contraceptives containing drospirenone.

"The FDA's adverse event database for Yaz reveals many serious adverse events associated with use of the drug, including many deaths, strokes, heart attacks, blood clots in young and healthy women," added Fleishman. "Bayer must take legal responsibility for injuries Yaz has inflicted on young women and teenagers across America."

The law in most states provides several personal injury claims for persons who have been seriously injured by a medical device or prescription drug with dangerous, undisclosed side effects.

Trademark Notice

Yaz and Yasmin are registered trademarks of Bayer Schering Pharma Aktiengesellschaft. Ocella is a registered trademark of Barr Laboratories, Inc. The use of these trademark is solely for informational and product identification purposes.

Posted: May 2011