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$14M awarded in suit linking contraceptive, stroke

Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:46 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – A jury has awarded $14 million to a suburban Chicago woman who sued her doctor over a debilitating stroke she suffered after taking the birth control drug Yasmin.

Lawyers for Mariola Zapalski, of Elmwood Park, say the stroke occurred 13 days after she began taking the drug, paralyzing her left side and causing permanent brain injury.

Defendant Dr. Zbigniew Aniol declined to comment Saturday.

Friday’s verdict came after a two-week trial in Cook County Circuit Court. A $2.5 million settlement in the same matter was reached a month ago with Resurrection Medical Center.

Drugmaker Bayer has also faced lawsuits from women claiming the contraceptive caused blood clots that led to serious health consequences.

The company stands by the drug and says it is safe if used as directed.

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