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

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 11, 2011 - Wendy R. Fleishman of the national plaintiffs' law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP 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.

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.


"One day she was a freshman at college so full of hope and promise and the next she was gone," said Michelle's mother, Joan Cummins. "I can only hope that by publicizing what happened to Michelle, I can keep another family from having to go through this."

"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."

Yaz Lawsuit: Legal Resources for Patients Injured Due To Yaz Side Effects

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.

If you or a family member have suffered a serious injury or a loved one died after taking Yaz, or similar drugs Yasmin and Ocella, please read our Yaz side effects FAQ webpage to learn more about your legal rights and submit a complaint.

About Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Recognized as "one of the nation's premier plaintiff's firms," Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a sixty-plus attorney law firm with offices in San Francisco, New York and Nashville. For the last eight consecutive years, the National Law Journal has recognized Lieff Cabraser as one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in America. Learn more about us at

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.

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Contact: Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Wendy R. Fleishman, 212-355-9500

Posted: May 2011