A jury has awarded a suburban woman $14 million against her doctor after she suffered a debilitating stroke. The stroke was the result of her taking Yasmin.
The 37-year-old Chicago woman said she started seeing a gynecologist because she and her husband wanted to have a baby. Zapalski said that the doctor prescribed Yasmin to her on her very first visit. It was alleged that Zapalski should not have been taking that particular medication because she had several risk factors including her age, smoking habit and high cholesterol. There are other birth control pills that could have been prescribed, which would have been safer for her, such as progesterone only pills. That was never offered to her.
In 2007, Mariola Zapalski was prescribed Yasmin to treat irregular bleeding. Zapalski only took the birth control pills for just 13 days before she suffered a massive stroke. Her husband hopes the verdict will serve as a victory not only for them, but for patient’s rights everywhere.
The woman’s husband spoke out about the verdict and about how his wife’s stroke has changed their lives.
Zapalski is wheelchair-bound, paralyzed on her left side and unable to fully communicate. This is how her life has been since the 2007 stroke that is believed caused by her taking Yasmin. Eight years after she suffered the stroke, the Cook County jury agreed that her condition was caused by Yasmin and awarded Mariola and her husband the $14 million verdict in their suit against the doctor who prescribed the drug, Zbigniew Aniol.
Yasmin has been under much scrutiny since reports began surfacing that the drug was causing many health problems. Yasmin was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. By 2009, the FDA forced Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of Yasmin, to change their misleading marketing that led consumers to believe Yasmin would clear up acne and treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In 2010, lawsuits were being filed in Canada claiming that the drug caused an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Other problems have since been reported, including gallbladder disease, pulmonary embolism, elevated potassium levels, and death.
Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals has settled over 8,000 claims totaling $1.4 billion. The company stands behind their product still, saying it is safe to use as directed, even though the FDA ordered Bayer to change the prescription information and label explaining the risk of blood clots associated with birth control pills that contain other hormones, such as drospirerone, found in Yasmin.
This lawsuit is the latest involving the popular birth control pill, which is still on the market. As recently as last year, the FDA changed the warning label on Yasmin and other estrogen containing birth control pills, warning of an increased risk for blood clots.
Zapalski worked as a cleaning lady but now requires 24/7 care, which her husband provides, leaving him unable to work. He hopes the verdict will send a message to all doctors.
“They have to be more careful when they are prescribing dangerous drugs and make sure they are right for the person,” said Zapalski
This is the second lawsuit filed in relation to this case. Just last month, Resurrection Medical Center settled with the couple in the amount of $2.5 million. It is the hospital that referred the Zapalski’s to the doctor in question.
Do you think this is a fair verdict? Zapalski was only 37-years-old when she suffered the debilitating stroke that forever changed her and her husband’s lives. Feel free to comment on this blog post. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).