Jefferson Parish woman sues over oral contraceptive Yasmin

Michelle Keahey Apr. 16, 2012, 6:51am

NEW ORLEANS - A Jefferson Parish woman has filed a lawsuit against Bayer Pharmaceuticals claiming that their oral contraceptive drug Yaz/Yasmin caused her to develop gallbladder disease.

Michelle Steele Harris filed suit against Bayer Corp., Bayer Healthcare, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp., Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceutical Inc., Berlex Laboratories Inc., Berlex Inc., and Bayer Schering Pharma AG on April 5 in federal court in New Orleans.

Yasmin is a combination oral birth control pill that contains both the hormones estrogen and progestin.

Harris was prescribed the drug in April 2005 and states that after she took it she developed gallbladder disease, pancreatitis and other health effects, which she did not discover until May 12, 2011.

The defendants are accused of negligence, product liability, fraud, civil conspiracy and commercial bribery, breach of express and implied warranties.

Specifically, Harris argues that the drug manufacturer negligently or fraudulently represented to the medical community and to the public that Yaz/Yasmin had been tested and was found to be safe and effective for use. Bayer is accused of concealing the defects of the drug, including the increased risk of serious and dangerous side effects.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of $10 million in damages for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of employment, diminished enjoyment of life, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

Harris is represented by New Orleans attorneys Christopher H. Sherwood, John D. Sileo and Kevin P. Riche. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00897

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