In late 2007, Courtney started getting really sick. She was in Grade 11 and working nights at McDonalds - Yaz birth control really took its toll on her life. “I constantly had diarrhea, vomiting, a fever and generally felt terrible,” she says. “I saw doctors almost weekly for several months but nobody could figure out what was wrong, until I wound up in ER.”
In the hospital, Courtney had a CT Scan and doctors determined she needed to have her gallbladder removed. Because she was so young, gallbladder issues weren’t on most doctors’ radars. “As well, the doctors at the hospital never linked gallbladder problems to Yaz, but it did raise some eyebrows because I was so young,” Courtney adds. They didn’t really worry about why - there was more emphasis on getting it out.
“They sent me home with pain meds and I went back to my family doctor who set me up with the surgeon,” Courtney explains. “It was pretty scary to have surgery. And I had to take a few months off school and work. I ended up not graduating from high school - instead I got my GED in 2011.” (Courtney is now a stay-at-home mom with two boys and she will soon work full-time at a mental health disability clinic.)
“I saw a commercial on TV in 2008, and that was the first time I discovered the connection with Yasmin and Yaz and gallbladder issues. I was shocked. You don’t think that taking a medication or a birth control pill is going to cause other problems. Now I understand that a drug can cause even more problems than what you took it for in the first place. And now I am careful with everything I take. I don’t even take Tylenol.
“I have had problems ever since I had my gallbladder removed. I constantly have abdominal pain; I can’t eat and not have diarrhea afterwards. I try to take natural products, drink lots of water and exercise - having two boys helps with that. But I don’t think I will ever be back to ‘normal.’
“My mom felt guilty because it was her ultimate decision to put me on Yaz - the legal age to get a prescription here in Indiana is 18 and I was a minor. My mom still feels guilty and she encouraged me to file a lawsuit. I don’t know how long I have to file a Yasmin/Yaz lawsuit because it happened five years ago, and I am worried about the statute of limitations. I am hopeful that I find an attorney to take my case soon.”
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The lawsuit alleges that, because the girl no longer has a gallbladder, she needs ongoing medical treatments and monitoring for the rest of her life to prevent kidney and liver ailments. Her Yaz injury lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages to cover these medical expenses, as well as to compensate her for her physical and emotional pain.
The Yaz and Yasmin lawsuit argues that Bayer failed to warn the public about the birth control pills’ numerous side effects, and it accuses Bayer of negligence, product liability and misrepresentation.