A growing number of product liability lawsuits are being brought against Allergan, the manufacturer of the now-recalled Biocell breast implants, alleging an increased risk of cancer among women who received the implants. The latest lawsuit filed over Biocell implants alleges that the unique texturing process used to make Allergan’s breast implants is what caused the plaintiff’s lymphoma. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast implant-associated large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) allegedly caused by Biocell textured breast implants, contact an experienced product liability lawyer today to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a breast implant cancer lawsuit against Allergan for compensation.
This latest BIA-ALCL lawsuit was filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by Michelle Forney and her husband, John, and involves Allergan’s Natrelle Saline-Filled Breast Implants (formerly McGhan RTV Saline-Filled Mammary Implant). The lawsuit alleges that Allergan knew about the potential for its Biocell line of breast implants to cause cancer in women yet failed to adequately warn consumers or the medical community about the increased risk. The lawsuit also accuses Allergan of failing to meet the FDA’s Premarket Approval Application requirements for its Biocell breast implants, blaming the cancer risk associated with the implants on their textured surface, which is unique to Allergan’s implants.
BIA-ALCL is a rare but treatable type of cancer that can develop around breast implants. BIA-ALCL is not a breast cancer. Rather, it is type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can develop in the tissue surrounding the implant. According to Forney’s lawsuit, she received McGhan Biocell saline breast implants in 1999. “In 2015, Mrs. Forney started to develop strange symptoms including horrible itching and pain in her right breast,” the breast implant lawsuit states. “She went to six medical providers to try to determine the problem and received multiple mis-diagnoses, including capsular contracture, mastitis, herpes, shingles, and various infections.” It wasn’t until 2018, when Forney had her right implant removed, that her condition was properly diagnosed as BIA-ALCL. According to the lawsuit, surgeons found “dozens of tumors” on the capsule surrounding the implant and the pathology results were positive for BIA-ALCL.
In 2019, Allergan was forced to issue a worldwide recall for its Natrelle Biocell breast implants, effectively removing all implants from the market that featured the company’s proprietary “macrotextured” design. The recall came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that nearly all reported cases of BIA-ALCL among women with breast implants were tied to textured Biocell implants. According to the FDA’s recall announcement, “the risk of BIA-ALCL with Allergan BIOCELL textured implants is approximately 6 times the risk of BIA-ALCL with textured implants from other manufacturers marketing in the U.S. and continued distribution of Allergan’s BIOCELL textured breast implants would likely cause serious, adverse health consequences, including death, from BIA-ALCL.”
Amid growing concerns about the potential for Biocell implants to cause BIA-ALCL, dozens of women across the country have filed legal claims against Allergan, alleging that they could have avoided a cancer diagnosis had Allergan not intentionally covered up the problems and misled consumers and the medical community. Other women who have not been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL are also pursuing claims against Allergan, indicating that they either had their implants removed or plan to in the future, to avoid a risk of cancer. As more women with Biocell breast implants are diagnosed with BIA-ALCL and/or undergo surgery to have their implants removed, the size and scope of the breast implant litigation is expected to grow. For more information about the potential risk of cancer from Biocell breast implants, contact a knowledgeable BIA-ALCL injury lawyer today.