An Illinois woman proposed a class-action lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Allergan Inc. over its recalled BIOCELL textured breast implants. According to her, the company hid the link between the implants and a rare form of cancer for years before the recall. Women unfairly subjected to an increased risk of cancer are joining class-action lawsuits to hold Allergan responsible.
Allergan’s BIOCELL Textured Breast Implants Have Been Linked to Cancer
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has linked Allergan’s BIOCELL textured breast implants to hundreds of cases of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
This rare immune system cancer — usually occurring several years after breast implant surgery — seems to be caused by the rough surface of textured implants.
The FDA also reported that:
- BIA-ALCL occurs in somewhere between one in 3,817 and one in 30,000 women with textured implants.
- To date, there have been 573 worldwide cases of BIA-ALCL.
- Allergan’s textured implants were tied to 481 cases of BIA-ALCL — 33 of which were fatal.
- 12 of the 13 deaths in which the implant manufacturer was known involved an Allergan breast implant.
Due to these findings, the FDA requested that Allergan recall its BIOCELL textured implants.
Although Allergan complied with the FDA in July, even offering some compensation to women with these implants, Ms. Tauben is filing a class-action lawsuit to receive fair compensation and to hold the pharmaceutical giant accountable.
Key Facts About the Allergan Breast Implant Class-Action Lawsuit
Women concerned about BIA-ALCL should know a few key facts about the Allergan class-action lawsuit.
The Proposed Class-Action Lawsuit Claims Allergan Hid Cancer Risk Findings from the FDA
According to Tauben, Allergan used a loophole in the FDA’s reporting requirements to hide instances of serious injuries related to its textured breast implants.
Not until 2017, when the FDA created stricter requirements to combat transparency issues, did the truth of the BIA-ALCL link to Allergan’s textured breast implants emerge.
According to the FDA, the risk of getting BIA-ALCL from an Allergan textured implant is nearly 6 times higher than textured implants from other manufacturers.
Instead of reporting serious health concerns directly to the FDA, Tauben alleges, Allergan hid such findings by reporting them in “alternative summary reports” — which aren’t required to be reported through the FDA’s public database.
Tellingly, once the FDA tightened its reporting requirements, the number of harmful breast implant-related events across the industry shot up from 200 in 2017 to 8,242 in the first half of 2018.
The Lawsuit Seeks Compensation for Costs Associated with Increased Breast Implant Cancer
In response to their recalled textured breast implants, Allergan has offered some compensation to women who used their implants.
Allergan has offered to:
- Provide free smooth implant replacements to women with the recalled implants
- Pay up to $1,000 for diagnostic tests
- Pay up to $7,500 for surgery and cancer treatment
However, Tauber argues that this compensation is far from adequate.
The plaintiff is seeking:
- Full coverage of the costs of removing and replacing the textured implants
- Punitive damages for Allergen’s negligence and violations of an Illinois business practices act
For the latter, she wants to represent a class of Illinois women who received the implant.
This Is Not the Only Breast Implant Lawsuit against Allergan
In September 2019, two other women filed an Allergan class-action lawsuit, seeking monetary damages for themselves and other women with the implants.
One woman got her implants removed out of fear of developing BIA-ALCL, while the other claims she would have never gotten the textured implants if she’d known the risks.
The FDA advises women with Allergan BIOCELL implants to not remove them unless they experience symptoms such as persistent swelling and pain near the implant.
The women are suing Allergan for:
- Cost of removal of the recalled implants
- Surgical and diagnostic fees
- Being subjected to medical monitoring and intrusive diagnostic tests due to increased risk of BIA-ALCL
You May Be Entitled to Compensation Through a Class-Action Lawsuit
The proposed class-action lawsuit filed by Lana Tauben is specific to Illinois women. However, you may be entitled to compensation through another lawsuit against Allergan.
If you have any of the BIOCELL breast implants or tissue expanders that were recalled by Allergan, your legal interests may automatically be represented by this suit. This means that if the court rules against Allergan, you may be entitled to submit a claim for compensation.
See the FDA’s affected products list for all included Allergan class-action lawsuit breast implants.
The lawsuit seeks to cover costs that Allergan refuses to pay for, including:
- Diagnostic testing
- Implant removal surgery
- Medical monitoring
By allegedly hiding serious health risks from the public, Allergan took away your choice to make an informed decision about your health — and needlessly put you at risk for a potentially deadly cancer.
You should not have to pay for Allergan’s misdeeds. Get a free legal case review to see if you may be eligible for financial compensation.
Field, E. (2019, September 23). Allergan Hit with Suit over Recalled Breast Implants. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.law360.com/articles/1201893/allergan-hit-with-suit-over-recalled-breast-implants
Crotti, N. (2019, September 4,). Allergan sued over textured breast implants. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.massdevice.com/allergan-sued-over-textured-breast-implants/
Naftulin, J. (2019, Jul 24). Breast implant manufacturer Allergan just recalled one type of implant after hundreds of Americans developed a rare cancer linked to the devices. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.insider.com/breast-implant-cancer-bia-alcl-what-is-it-2019-2
Sheinin, A. G. (2019, July 24). Textured Breast Implants Recalled for Cancer Risk. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/women/news/20190724/textured-breast-implants-recalled-for-cancer-risk
Pruthi, S. (2019, July 27). Is there any connection between breast implants and cancer? And if so, how serious is the risk? Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/expert-answers/breast-implants-and-cancer/faq-20057774
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019, August 7). The FDA Requests Allergan Voluntarily Recall Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Breast Implants and Tissue Expanders from the Market to Protect Patients: FDA Safety Communication. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/fda-requests-allergan-voluntarily-recall-natrelle-biocell-textured-breast-implants-and-tissue