A Cook County jury awarded $14 million to an Elmwood Park woman who suffered a severe stroke after using a controversial birth control medication, according to the Clifford Law Office, which represented the woman.
Mariola Zapalski, 37, suffered a stroke nearly two weeks after starting the birth control medication Yasmin, which was prescribed to her by the defendant in the lawsuit, Dr. Zbigniew Aniol of Chicago, according to her lawsuit. Lawyers said Zapalski is now paralyzed on her left side and requires round-the-clock care.
The Clifford Law Office said that earlier this year a $2.5 million settlement was reached with Resurrection Medical Center in the same case.
Yasmin and other pills containing the hormone drospirenone have drawn a flood of litigation over reports of deaths, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, gallbladder disease, elevated potassium levels and other problems.
Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the leading manufacturer of the drugs, as of last July had settled the claims of 6,760 U.S. plaintiffs for a total of $1.4 billion.
Last year, after reviewing the studies on the risk of blood clots, the FDA changed the prescription information for birth control pills containing drospirenone. The revised labels explain that the medications may be associated with a higher risk of blood clots than contraceptives containing other hormones.
Source: Chicago Tribune