Allergan Breast Implants Cancer: Allergan Breast Implant Lawsuits

Andrew Sullo is a Top 100 National Trial Lawyer (as named by the National Trial Lawyers 2013-2019).

Have Allergan Breast Implants Been Recalled? Just a couple of months ago, it came to light that there were potential dangers associated with Allergan textured breast implants. The BIOCELL and Natrelle textured breast implants were found to be associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL. The Allergan breast implant recall was prompted by the FDA, however, Allergan voluntarily recalled the textured implants. Women who have suffered any BIA-ALCL symptoms should immediately contact their doctor. An entire list of the recalled Allergan textured breast implants can be found on this website, or through the FDA website. These Allergan Natrelle breast implants and the Allergan BIOCELL textured implants have been definitively linked to large cell lymphoma, which is a form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Do Allergan Breast Implants Cause Cancer? As many as 481 cases of BIA-ALCL (Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma) are associated with textured surface breast implants. Across the globe, there have been 573 cases of BIA-ALCL, including 33 deaths. Twelve of those deaths are known to have involved an Allergan textured breast implant. BIA-ALCL attacks the immune system and may not be diagnosed for many years following implantation. It remains unclear why textured-surface breast implants cause BIA-ALCL. It is theorized that the texture of the shell surrounding the implant is the culprit. The body’s lymphoma response is inflammation surrounding the Allergan textured breast implant.

While in most cases, the lymphoma cancer is limited to the fluids and scar tissue surrounding the implant, it can spread throughout the body, and can be deadly. Patients diagnosed with BIA-ALCL may require chemotherapy and/or radiation. The FDA believes women with a textured Allergan breast implant have six times the risk of developing BIA-ALCL as they would from a similar product sold by other manufacturers. From 10-13 percent of breast implants across the globe are textured. Typically, smooth breast implants are used for cosmetic purposes, while textured breast implants are used in reconstructive surgical procedures.

Textured breast implant cancers are largely anaplastic large cell lymphoma, also known as anaplastic t-cell lymphoma and anaplastic large t-cell lymphoma. Symptoms of this type of cancer will usually occur from three to fourteen years following the placement of the textured implant. Swelling around the implant, pain surrounding the implant, lumps under the armpit or lumps in the breasts are all symptoms of BIA-ALCL which should not be ignored.

Have Any Lawsuits Been Brought Against Allergan? In 2018, a number of women filed a breast implant class action lawsuit against Allergan in New Jersey and in California. There exists a history of litigation against the manufacturers of breast implants for consumer personal injury. Courts have awarded consumers as much as $250,000 for breast implant-related conditions. During the 80s and 90s, several manufacturers were found liable in breast implant class action lawsuits, to the tunes of billions of dollars.

A 1998 ruling for $3.2 billion against Dow Corning Corp., ordered Dow to compensate women for the cost of removing the breast implants, as well as personal injury and litigation against the company effectively bankrupted the company. As recently as 2016 and 2017, two women sued a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Mentor Worldwide, alleging they developed certain medical conditions as a direct result of being implanted with Mentor MemoryGel silicone breast implants.

This means that the current Allergan breast implant class action lawsuit is hardly unique. In March, the FDA, after studying the risks associated with textured implants for years, held two days of hearings in which women who alleged they had developed cancer as a result of their textured breast implants gave testimony. These women reported symptoms such as chronic fatigue, hair loss, pain, intestinal issues, unexplained rashes and chronic itching.

At that time, however, the FDA determined the existing data failed to establish a strong enough link between the textured breast implants and cancer. There was no recall issued at that time, however a few months later, a recall was recommended, and Allergan voluntarily recalled a number of Allergan BIOCELL and Natrelle textured breast implants.  

Two women have recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Allergan, alleging the company’s textured breast implants gave them a rare form of cancer. In a separate action, a California judge dismissed two lawsuits against J & J and Mentor Worldwide over injuries they allegedly received from Mentor’s silicone breast implants. In the current Allergan breast implant lawsuit, a woman from Michigan claims she began having symptoms of BIA-ALCL in February 2019—14 months after receiving Allergan BIOCCELL textured implants.

The second woman who is from California received BIOCELL textured implants in 2016 and has since been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL. These two women are suing Allergan to pay for the removal of the implants—which Allergan has, thus far, refused to do. These two women claim Allergan failed to report adverse events related to its BIOCELL and Natrelle textured implants. 

Should I File an Allergan Breast Implant Lawsuit? If you have an Allergan Natrelle or BIOCELL breast implant, and have experienced issues related to these textured breast implants, you may want to consider breast implant litigation, whether through a breast implant class action lawsuit or an individual Allergan breast implant lawsuit. It is expected that the number of breast implant lawsuits, as well as breast implant class action lawsuits will continue to increase as more and more women come forward with problems related to Natrelle or BIOCELL textured breast implants.

Currently, the FDA is not advising patients with Allergan BIOCELL or Natrelle textured breast implants to have those textured implants removed unless and until they show symptoms of BIA-ALCL, which can be diagnosed through a physical exam, an assessment of fluid and tissue in the implant area and imaging techniques. Women with an Allergan Natrelle or BIOCELL textured breast implant should speak to their doctors, then speak with experienced breast implant lawyers who can help them determine whether an Allergan breast implant lawsuit is right for them.

Getting Legal Help from Experienced Breast Implant Lawyers - The highly experienced breast implant lawyers at Sullo & Sullo in Houston, Texas, can help women determine whether an Allergan breast implant lawsuit is in their best interests. It is unknown at this time whether a breast implant lawsuit settlement will occur; Allergan will likely wait to see how many textured breast implant lawsuits are filed, and then will further wait until they see the outcome of several of those lawsuits before considering a breast implant lawsuit settlement. Contact Sullo & Sullo today to have all your questions regarding the Allergan breast implant recall answered and discuss your options.

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