Contact A Lawyer
Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney
A growing number of product liability lawsuit and class action claims are being pursued by women nationwide over problems with breast implants sold by Allergan in recent years, which may increase the risk of cancer due to a Biocell textured surface technology.
Allergan was forced to issue a worldwide breast implant recall last year, removing all products from the market that featured the macrotextured design, after federal regulators in the United States determine nearly all reported cases of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) were linked to the design.
The breast implant cancer involves a rare type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma that may develop in the tissue surrounding the implant. As a result of the risk, dozens of women nationwide have filed claims against the manufacturer, alleging that they may have avoided a cancer diagnosis if the manufacturer had not intentionally covered up the problems and misled patients and the medical community.
A growing number of lawsuits are also being by women who did not develop BIA-ALCL, but indicate that they either already had the implants removed or plan to, in order to protect their safety. At least six women filed claims last week in New Jersey state court indicating that Allergan should be required to pay for medical procedures, and breast implant replacements.
In the federal court system, at least 50 complaints over the breast implant cancer problems have been consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the District of New Jersey, where U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti is presiding over all pretrial proceedings to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues in the claims, avoid conflicting schedules and orders, and serve the convenience of common witnesses, parties and the judicial system.
In a case management order (PDF) filed on February 10, a series of case management conferences were scheduled throughout 2020, with the next conference slated for March 16.
Attorneys involved in the litigation have been directed to confer about potential protective orders, direct filings, plaintiff and defendant fact sheets and the possibility of a “science day”, where off-the-record presentations would be made to educate the court about scientific issues that are likely to arise in the litigation.
Concerns over the link between textured breast implants and cancer that may develop in the tissue surrounding certain types of implants began to emerge several years ago, but the exact cause of the problems was not known by doctors or consumers.
According to data released by the FDA over the summer of 2019, at least 573 known cases of breast implant ALCL have been diagnosed worldwide, including at least 33 deaths. Of those, 481 have been linked to breast implants sold by Allergan with the Biocell textured design, which have been involved in at least 12 of the 13 deaths where the manufacturer of the breast implant was known.
As more women undergo procedures to have breast implants removed due to the cancer problems, or receive a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL, the size and scope of the litigation is expected to continue to expand over the coming months.