A resident of New Mexico, Stephanie Brazil, filed a Yaz pulmonary embolism lawsuit with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, on May 29, 2012. Her complaint accuses Bayer of developing and marketing a product that the company knew was unsafe.

Brazil took Yaz from 2005 until 2009. She stopped taking the controversial oral contraceptive after she developed a pulmonary embolism in June of that year. Pulmonary embolisms are caused by blood clots getting into the lungs and are a well-known side effect of Yaz and other drospirenone-based pills. Other side effects are common among Yaz and Yasmin users, including heart attacks, strokes, gallbladder disease and deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis is also caused by blood clots, but generally occurs in the legs.

Each of the side effects linked to Yaz and Yasmin have the potential to be deadly, which is why thousands of patients have filed lawsuits against the drugs’ manufacturers. Most of those lawsuits cite Bayer’s failure to properly warn consumers and healthcare professionals about the dangers linked to Yaz and other drospirenone-based contraceptives. Some lawsuits are citing Bayer’s original marketing campaign that primarily focused on the pills’ ability to cure acne and severe PMS. Both of those uses are not approved by the FDA. The agency eventually forced Bayer to correct those ads and include the serious warnings on the labels, but for the women who were already suffering from the side effects, that information came too late.

The side effects linked to Yaz and other drospirenone-based pills have caused thousands of users to file lawsuits against Bayer. For years, Bayer refused to accept liability. In fact, the company insisted that the pills were no more dangerous than older birth control pills that didn’t contain drospirenone. The company has since conceded a little bit when it agreed to a settlement with as many as 500 plaintiffs to the tune of $110 million, which amounts to a payout of about $220,000 per plaintiff. That amount is little in comparison to the medical bills that these conditions can bring about, but at least it is a start in getting Bayer to be held liable.