When you read about huge class action lawsuits or multidistrict litigation in the news, it can be easy to forget about the individuals who have suffered personal tragedies and losses. Once the individual cases get lumped together with thousands of others, the information can be simplified. What was experienced directly by individual women in the Yaz lawsuits translates into a cold, impersonal list of symptoms. Remember, however, that each of the 4,000 plaintiffs went through their own challenges while using Yaz, Yasmin or Ocella.
KOCO News of Oklahoma City recently reported on the case of Susan Gallenos. Only one month into starting her Yaz prescription, Gallenos had a stroke. She had to have part of her skull surgically removed to help reduce swelling in her brain. The article reports that her IQ dropped to 77 and that when she returned home to her children, they experienced her as a different woman.
Gallenos is not the only woman who suffered a stroke while taking Bayer’s birth control pills. Brenda Hamilton of New Jersey had been taking Yasmin for about two years when she endured a serious stroke. She was 27 at the time. A Fox News article quoted Hamilton saying, “I’m pretty angry that this happened to me. I was 27 at the time. I don’t think this should be happening to young women. It shouldn’t happen to any woman just because they take birth-control pills.”
One of the main points that is common among many of the plaintiffs’ claims against Bayer is that the company knew of the statistically higher risks of the active ingredients in Yaz and Yasmin, but did not inform doctors and patients of those facts. None of the 4,000 women who have filed suit knew that there were other, less risky choices available to them at the time they were prescribed the controversial birth control pills.
Blanton, Anita. (November 4, 2010) “Investigation Uncovers Birth Control Problems.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from KOCO Oklahoma City.
New York Post Staff Writer. (June 7, 2010) “Actress Sues Bayer, Claims Birth Control Pill Caused Stroke at 27.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from Fox News.
Wakeman, Jessica. (June 6, 2010) “ “Wicked” Actress Sues Yasmin Birth Control Over Her Stroke.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from The Frisky.