Breast implant manufacturer Allergan faces a new wrongful death lawsuit filed by the husband of a Florida woman who died due to breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL. The lawsuit was filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by William Creeden, on behalf of himself and his late wife, Rita Ann Creeden. BIA-ALCL is not a breast cancer. Rather, it is a cancer of the immune system that can develop around certain breast implants. If someone you love suffered severe injuries or died as a result of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, your first course of action should be to contact a product liability lawyer with experience handling breast implant cancer claims. You may have grounds to file a BIA-ALCL lawsuit against the breast implant manufacturer, in order to pursue compensation for your loved one’s injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages, and a knowledgeable attorney can help.
BIA-ALCL is a rare and sometimes fatal type of T-cell lymphoma specifically linked to textured breast implants. The cancer may develop in the tissue surrounding the implants and can spread throughout the body. BIA-ALCL has so far only been linked to textured implants – which have a rough surface designed to adhere to the tissue that surrounds them – specifically the unique macrotextured design of Allergan’s Biocell breast implants. In fact, Allergan’s Biocell implants accounted for 91% of all BIA-ALCL cases reported to the FDA where the device manufacturer was known. In his wrongful death lawsuit against Allergan, William Creeden blames the problems with Biocell breast implants on “the Biocell ‘salt loss’ texturing manufacturing process,” which “at times produced nonconforming implants caused by negligent manufacturing.”
According to allegations raised in this new wrongful death lawsuit, Rita Ann Creeden received Biocell textured breast implants in 1996. In June 2016, she was diagnosed with BIA-ALCL and underwent surgery to remove the breast implants and capsules. Unfortunately, that did not cure her cancer and despite undergoing multiple painful radiation treatments and surgeries, she died from BIA-ALCL in August 2019. In his wrongful death lawsuit, William Creeden claims that Allergan “knowingly misled the medical, scientific, surgical community and the public” by denying claims that its breast implants can cause cancer. He also alleges that his wife died as a direct result of the “defective and unreasonably dangerous” design of Allergan’s Biocell breast implants, which were removed from the market just one month before Rita Ann Creeden’s death.
In July 2019, the FDA announced a worldwide recall of Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders, based on evidence linking the textured breast implants to an increased risk of BIA-ALCL. In response to the recall, FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy said, “Although the overall incidence of BIA-ALCL appears to be relatively low, once the evidence indicated that a specific manufacturer’s product appeared to be directly linked to significant patient harm, including death, the FDA took action to alert the firm to new evidence indicating a recall is warranted to protect women’s health.” In September 2019, the FDA updated its Biocell breast implant recall, classifying the action as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall. According to the FDA’s updated announcement, “Use of these devices may cause serious injuries or death.”
At the time of the Biocell breast implant recall, the FDA reported being aware of 573 confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL associated with textured breast implants worldwide and 33 patient deaths. More recent estimates put the number of BIA-ALCL cases closer to 888 worldwide as of February 2020. In light of the potential for Biocell textured breast implants to increase the risk of BIA-ALCL, women across the United States are pursuing legal claims against Allergan, alleging that they could have avoided a cancer diagnosis had the manufacturer not misled patients and healthcare providers and covered up problems with its implants. William Creeden’s wrongful death lawsuit joins dozens of other lawsuits filed on behalf of women who developed BIA-ALCL allegedly caused by Allergan’s textured breast implants. Lawsuits are also being filed by women who did not develop BIA-ALCL, but either already had their Biocell breast implants removed or plan to, in order to avoid a cancer diagnosis.