Two women have filed a class action lawsuit against breast implant manufacturer Allergan over its recalled Biocell breast implants, which have been linked to a rare form of cancer. According to a news report, the women said in the lawsuit that it cost them tens of thousands of dollars to get the implants in the first place and then get them removed out of fear of developing BIA-ALCL, a rare cancer linked to these specific types of textured implants.
Lawsuit Seeks Damages
One of the women said she has not had her implants surgically removed, but said that she would not have gotten them in the first place had she known about the heightened risk of developing cancer. Neither of the women involved in this lawsuit has developed cancer. On July 24, Allergan announced that it was voluntarily recalling its Biocell textured breast implants after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logged hundreds of cases where women who had the implants developed BIA-ALCL.
As of September 2018, the FDA had received 457 unique reports of BIA-ALCL including nine deaths that were linked to the cancer. The women involved in the class action lawsuit are seeking monetary damages for themselves and other women who received these implants because they will be forced to spend a significant amount of money to get the implants removed, as well as for surgical, diagnostic and other treatment costs. Allergan has said it would cover expenses related to new Biocell implants for those who want to replace them. The company, however, has made it clear that it won’t foot cost of surgery.
Understanding the Cancer Link
Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or BIA-ALCL is a rare type of lymphoma that could develop around breast implants. This type of cancer occurs most frequently in patients who have breast implants with textured surfaces. This is not breast cancer. Rather, it is a cancer of the immune system. Common symptoms include breast enlargement, pain, asymmetry, lump in the breast or armpit, overlying skin rash, hardening of the breast, or a large fluid collection typically developing at least more than one year after receiving an implant, and on average after eight to 10 years. Any patient experiencing these symptoms should see their doctor immediately for evaluation.
If you have received these types of textured breast implants and have developed BIA-ALCL, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation for your losses. You may be able to file a class-action lawsuit if you received these implants and have not developed cancer. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to help you assess your legal rights and options.