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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Courthouse News Service
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Pills Packed Backward, Pregnant Woman Says

MARIETTA, Ga. (CN) - A woman claims in a class action that she became pregnant because her birth control pills were packaged backward: with the placebos placed at the beginning of the month rather than at the end.

Lauren Betancourt sued Qualitest Products, Brenn Distribution and Endo Pharmaceuticals in Cobb County Court, in a class action demanding more than $5 million in damages.

Betancourt says she took the birth control pills - under the trademark names Cyclafem 1/35, Cyclafem 7/7/7, Emoquette, Gildess FE 1.5/30, Gildess FE 1/20, Orsythia, Previfem and Tri-Previfem - and followed the daily regimen prescribed on the blister pack.

As is customary with birth control pills, the routine includes taking a daily dose of a 21- or 28-day cycle of synthetic estrogen, or a combination of estrogen and progestin, which blocks production of follicle-stimulating hormone, preventing ovulation. At the end of the cycle, the pack contains 7 days of placebo pills, which allows the woman to menstruate before starting the next cycle of pills.

Betancourt says the pills were packed placebos first, instead of last.

"The birth control pills purchased by the plaintiff were packaged such that select blisters found inside the pill box were rotated 180 degrees within the card, reversing the weekly tablet orientation," the complaint states. "As a result of the packaging error, the daily regimen for the birth control pills left women without adequate contraception and at risk for unwanted pregnancy."

Betancourt became pregnant.

"As a legal result of defendant Qualitest, Brenn and Endo's negligence, the plaintiff is pregnant and she has suffered and may suffer bodily injury resulting in pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expensive health care and treatment, loss of earnings, and a loss of ability to earn money," according to the complaint.

Betancourt seeks class damages for negligent design, manufacturing, packaging and distribution of the birth control pills.

She is represented by Steven L. Beard and Robertson Bodoh & Nasrallah.

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