• Switzerland's news in English
Insurer backs woman disabled from pill use
Photos of Céline Pfleger before an after the embolism. Photos: RTS

Insurer backs woman disabled from pill use

Malcolm Curtis · 5 Jun 2014, 08:10

Published: 05 Jun 2014 08:10 GMT+02:00

Céline Pfleger, 22, suffered an pulmonary embolism or lung blockage five years ago, after taking Yasmin, a contraceptive pill made by German pharmaceutical company Bayer.

Her parents went to court in a bid to seek 5.3 million francs in damages and additional sum of 400,000 francs for moral liability.

But the Zurich cantonal court rejected the claim saying there was no evidence that the pill taken was at fault.

The family announced it would appeal the decision on Monday and insurer CSS said on Tuesday it was following suit.

The Lucerne-based insurer has paid out more than 600,000 francs to cover treatment expenses for the young woman.

CSS argued the Zurich court did not examine the case deeply enough.

The company maintains that pulmonary embolism is a proven secondary effect of Yasmin.

“In the current case it’s Céline Pleger who is impacted, but numerous other women are also,” said Philomena Colatrella, secretary general and CSS board director.

“It’s why we want a judgment in principle from the supreme court.”

Colatrella said the company felt the court did not take sufficenbtly seriously the responsibility of Bayer in the case.

“The Yasmin contraceptive is sold like a lifestyle product to young women,” she said.

“The heavy consequences of ‘innovations’ such as the Yasmin pill should not fall back on individuals and in the final analysis . . . on the payers of (health insurance) premiums.”

CSS is one of the leading health care insurance firms in Switzerland, insuring around 1.73 million people.

Story continues below…

In the US, blood clots and other severe side effects associated with the use of Yasmin and Yaz birth control pills have led 10,000 patients in the US to file lawsuits against Bayer, according to the Drugwatch website

The website said 100 deaths have been linked to use of the pills.

Bayer said that as of March 2014 it had settled 8,250 cases for $1.7 billion.

Labelling imposed by the US Food and Drug Administration warns women who smoke about an increased risk of serious cardiovascular effects if they use the drugs.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Switzerland mulls alarm text message service
A mobile text warning system could be introduced: Photo: Katwarn.de

A text message alarm system could be used to warn people in the event of a terror attack.

Swiss solar plane nears end of epic trip
Solar Impulse is close to its goal. Photo: Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse 2 is approaching the end of its epic bid to become the first sun-powered plane to circle the globe without fuel.

Man arrested in forest murder case
A walker found the woman's body in the forest. File photo: Patrick Nouhailler

Police arrest an illegal immigrant over the killing of a woman in the canton of Bern last week.

Terror fears trigger Swiss run on guns
More people want to own a gun. Photo: kecko.jpg

Applications for gun licences soar in Switzerland amid growing insecurity.

Mountain biker survives icy plunge into the Rhine
The rescue services managed to winch the man to safety. Photo: Graubünden police

A Swiss mountain biker had a lucky escape after toppling into the Rhine river.

No blanket IOC doping ban for Russian athletes
The IOC ruled that 800m runner Yuliya Stepanova, who turned whistleblower on doping in Russian athletics, could not go to Rio even as a neutral. Photo: AFP

At a meeting in Lausanne on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee on Sunday ordered individual sports federations to decide whether Russian competitors should take part in the Rio Games after failing to agree on a complete ban over Russia's state-run doping.

Van Gogh, Monet paintings seized in Malaysia graft probe
The works were seized following a request from the United States, one of several countries probing alleged massive fraud at the Malaysian state fund 1MDB. Photo: AFP

Switzerland has seized a painting by Vincent Van Gogh and two others by Claude Monet as part of the global investigation into Malaysia's scandal-tainted sovereign wealth fund, an official said on Friday.

IOC reports more doping failures pre-Rio
President Thomas Bach said the retesting showed the IOC's commitment to fight doping. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee reports 45 new doping failures from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Swiss pilots: don’t hunt Pokémon from the air
Pokemon hunting has become a world-wide craze. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The Swiss civil aviation office hears reports of people playing the popular new game from helicopters.

‘Nelson’ the black swan found dead in Montreux
File photo: Noel Reynolds

The non-native swan caused a media storm earlier this month.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Grand Tours Project
Why you should get on your bike in Switzerland
Photo: The Local
Swiss village tells landlords: don’t rent homes to refugees
Photo: Rolf Krahl/Christophe G
Survey: world willing to pay more for ‘Swissness’
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: The Local
Chaos in Como after Swiss send back refugees
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP/The Local
Nine top celebrity hotspots in Switzerland
Photo: Graubunden police
World-class Swiss climber Norbert Joos dies on ‘home mountain’
Photo: Kathleen Waters
Italian ‘ignored’ by Swiss schools in language wars
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: Whitepod
The quirkiest places to stay in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Migrant busted trying to sneak into Switzerland in a suitcase
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read
Basel suffers wettest six months for 150 years
Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
Why Swiss science could suffer badly from Brexit fallout
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Robert Valencia
Swiss couple in Nicaragua told to give back adopted daughter
Photo: Zurich cantonal police
Police hunt prisoner on the run in Zurich murder case
Photo: Christoph G
Switzerland sets out law on expelling foreign criminals
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Bernacqua
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Basel Justice and Security Dept
New signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Daniel Orth
Muslim school kids denied passport for refusing swimming lessons
Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP
Swiss-EU talks ‘must’ resume this summer, says President
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
File photo: Kochtopf
Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches
File photo: Jen/Flickr
Geneva could get 'café fellatio' by end of year
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
jobs available