In September 2019, the FDA instructed the company Allergan to recall ALL of its BIOCELL textured breast implants and tissue expanders. The recall was requested because it was recently discovered that the BIOCELL implants can cause a rare type of immune system cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). The BIOCELL recall has led to a number of lawsuits against Allergan and many more plaintiffs are expected to file claims in the next few years. Our firm is now seeking new Allergan BIOCELL breast implant cases.About Allergan BIOCELL Breast Implants
Allergan is global pharmaceutical and medical device company based in Dublin, Ireland. Allergan’s BIOCELL implants and tissue expanders are used for breast enhancements and for breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy. What made the BIOCELL implants unique was their patented texturing on the implant surface. The textured implant surface was considered a major breakthrough because it greatly reduced the risk of serious complication called capsular contracture. The texturing also made the BIOCELL implants less prone to movement and other problems.
These features made Allergan’s BIOCELL implants and tissue expanders widely popular among surgeons for a time. The BIOCELL implants were used in thousands of breast reconstruction and breast enhancement surgeries across the country.BIOCELL Implants Linked to Specific Type of Cancer
The reason the BIOCELL implants were recalled is that recent research studies have shown the textured surface on the implants may actually cause recipients to develop a rare type of cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). BIA-ALCL is a unique type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that can form around an implant. The cancerous cells develop in fluid or scar tissue surrounding the implant.
BIA-ALCL is a cancer that only develops in women with breast implants. If BIA-ALCL is diagnosed the implants and cancerous tissue around them must be surgically removed. Radiation therapy and sometimes chemotherapy may also be necessary depending on the stage and spread of the cancer. Although these treatments are usually highly effective, having to go through them can be devastating, particularly for breast cancer survivors.
The recall was prompted by an FDA study which found that there was something about the unique type of texturing on Allergan’s BIOCELL implants which made BIA-ALCL much more likely to develop around the implant. Specifically, the FDA analysis found that women with Allergan’s BIOCELL implants were 6 times more likely to develop BIA-ALCL compared to women with all other types of textured implants. The link between Allergan’s BIOCELL textured implants and BIA-ALCL is so strong that almost every case of BIA-ALCL worldwide has been attributed to the BIOCELL texturing. According to the FDA, there are 573 reported cases of BIA-ALCL and 481 of these are in women with the BIOCELL implants.Allergan BIOCELL Lawsuits
Even before the FDA asked Allergan to recall the BIOCELL implants, news of the studies linking the BIOCELL implants to BIA-ALCL had already prompted a number of lawsuits around the country. The lawsuits were being filed by women who developed BIA-ALCL after having BIOCELL implants.
In December 2019, a new Allergan BIOCELL MDL was created in the District of New Jersey to consolidate all pending and future BIOCELL implant lawsuits against Allergan in the Federal Courts. As of April 2020, there were a total of 66 plaintiff cases in the BIOCELL MDL. Many more cases are expected to be filed over the next few years as more women with the BIOCELL implants get diagnosed with BIA-ALCL.
What will likely happen now is that the BIOCELL MDL will move through the consolidated discovery process. This is when Allergan will produce its records and other evidence regarding the development and testing of the BIOCELL products. Plaintiffs lawyers will then use these documents to try to show that Allergan knew or should have known about the dangers of the BIOCELL implants. At the end of this consolidated discovery phase the court will hand pick a few representative cases for “test trial” (a/k/a bellwether trials). These cases will go to trial and the results of those test trials will be used to value the cases and negotiate a global settlement of all other BIOCELL cases.
Global settlements in mass tort MDLs like this usually involve the defendant paying a large sum of money into a structure settlement fund. Then that settlement money gets divided between all the plaintiffs with pending cases. Not all plaintiffs will receive the same amount, however. Usually plaintiff in MDLs are separated into “tiers” based on how severe their injuries are. Plaintiffs who died from BIA-ALCL associated with the implants will be in the top tier and get the highest amounts. Plaintiffs with less serious injuries will go in lower tiers and get less money out of the settlement.We are Currently Accepting New Allergan BIOCELL Implant Cases
Our firm regularly handles defective medical device cases around the country. We are currently looking for new Allergan BIOCELL implant cases. We are seeking clients who meet the following minimum criteria:
- You were diagnosed with breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) or simply anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL); and
- You had breast implants.
If meet these basic criteria you may have a valid case against Allergan and be entitled to a share of the settlement. It is not too late to file your BIOCELL lawsuit against Allergan and take part in the MDL. Even if you don’t know whether your implants were the Allergan BIOCELL implants, we still want to hear from you. If you have been diagnosed with ALCL it is highly likely that you did in fact get the BIOCELL implants.
If you have been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma after getting breast implants call us today for a free consultation.