Lawsuit Blames Defective Breast Implant Design for Rare Lymphoma Diagnosis

In a new product liability lawsuit against Allergan, an Iowa woman claims that she developed a rare type of cancer known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) due to the alleged defective design of Allergan’s Biocell breast implants. The implants, which were recalled last July upon request from the FDA, feature a unique textured surface, which is believed to increase the risk of cancer developing in the tissue surrounding the implants. If you have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL allegedly caused by a recalled Allergan Biocell breast implant, contact a knowledgeable product liability lawyer today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a breast implant cancer lawsuit against Allergan, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses associated with your BIA-ALCL diagnosis.

Textured Breast Implants and BIA-ALCL

There are many different kinds of implants used for breast augmentation and reconstructive breast surgery, including smooth, microtextured and macrotextured implants. Allergan’s Biocell breast implants feature a unique macrotextured shell surface, which is designed to help the implant adhere to the surrounding tissue and prevent it from shifting out of position or rotating after implantation. Unfortunately, the textured design of Biocell breast implants is what is believed to increase the risk of lymphoma in recipients. In fact, federal regulators estimate that the risk of BIA-ALCL is six times higher with Allergan’s textured implants than with textured implants made by other manufacturers. Last year, Allergan was forced to remove its Biocell textured breast implants from the market, after it was discovered that the implants were tied to nearly all reported cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide. BIA-ALCL is not a type of breast cancer. Rather, it is a cancer of the immune system that develops in the scar tissue and fluid surrounding the breast implant.

Allergan Biocell Breast Implant Recall

Allergan announced the worldwide recall of its Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders on July 24, 2019, after it was revealed that the textured breast implants were disproportionately linked to BIA-ALCL. The company stated that it was recalling the implants “as a precaution following notification of recently updated global safety information concerning the uncommon incidence of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” According to an FDA news release, evidence indicated that the Allergan Biocell breast implants “appeared to be directly linked to significant patient harm, including death.” At that time, the FDA had identified a total of 573 reports of BIA-ALCL, 481 of which were attributed to Allergan-made implants, and 33 patient deaths.

Biocell Breast Implant Lawsuits Against Allergan

In light of the connection between Allergan’s Biocell breast implants and BIA-ALCL, dozens of women across the country who received textured implants manufactured by Allergan have filed legal claims against the manufacturer, alleging that they could have avoided a cancer diagnosis had they been properly warned about the potential risk of BIA-ALCL from the textured breast implants. Additional lawsuits have been brought against Allergan by women who had their implants removed or plan to, in order to avoid a cancer diagnosis. This latest BIA-ALCL lawsuit was filed by Ann Kurtz in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on March 6. In her complaint, Kurtz alleges that her rare lymphoma diagnosis was the direct result of the defective design of Allergan’s Biocell textured breast implants and that the diagnosis could have been avoided had Allergan not covered up the problems and deliberately misled consumers.

“Had Allergan properly reported those adverse events, the FDA would have required it to add warnings to the label or otherwise disseminate the additional adverse event information to the implanting doctors at a minimum, and would have required the BIOCELL implants to be recalled sooner,” Kurtz’s lawsuit states. “This is confirmed by the FDA’s 2019 request that BIOCELL implants be recalled and removed from the market once Allergan disclosed the true causal association between the implants and BIA-ALCL.” As more women nationwide are diagnosed with BIA-ALCL or are forced to undergo revision surgery to have their Allergan breast implants removed, the size and scope of the breast implant BIA-ALCL litigation is expected to grow considerably. Contact an experienced breast implant BIA-ALCL lawyer today to find out if you have a claim.