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People get breast implants for a number of reasons. Sometimes, they are a medical necessity after a surgical procedure. Other times, an individual might go under the knife for cosmetic reasons. Regardless of someone’s reasoning, there are inherent risks involved. Like any medical procedure, getting breast implants can cause side effects such as infection, chronic pain in the breast area, tissue atrophy, and more. What many don’t realize, however, is that certain implants can cause some extremely serious issues for a patient.

In July 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took action and requested that pharmaceutical company Allergan voluntarily recall its BIOCELL textured breast implants and various tissue expanders, as the products increased the risk of users developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). While breast implant-related lawsuits have been prevalent since the 1990s, the recent recall stems from an FDA-confirmed 33 deaths and 573 known cases of BIA-ALCL.

If you or a loved one is suffering due to a defective implant, it’s vital to reach out to a skilled class action attorney right away. At The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, we have decades of experience protecting consumers from dangerous medical products, and we’re ready to help you. To schedule a free, initial consultation with The Law Giant, contact us today at (866) 523-4167.

What is Breast Implant-Associated Large Cell Lymphoma?

A non-Hodgkin lymphoma, BI-ALCL is an immune system condition. While it is not breast cancer, the disease arises within the scar tissue and fluid that surround a textured or non-textured breast implant. People with textured implants, such as Allergan’s BIOCELL line, have the highest risk of developing BI-ACL.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, reach out to your physician right away:

  • Chronic, prolonged fatigue
  • Itching or rashes
  • Swelling or pain near the breast implant
  • Weight loss
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Night sweats
  • Pain-free swelling in your neck, armpit, or groin area

If you are not experiencing the above symptoms or similar issues, the FDA does not recommend that you have your implants removed. Instead, they suggest that users of these implants familiarize themselves with the above symptoms and visit a health care provider if fatigue, swelling, etc. arises. If you do have questions about the possibility of developing BI-ALCL or your treatment options, reach out to your doctor for further information.

Why Were Allergan’s Products Recalled?

Allergan, an Irish pharmaceutical company that ships products worldwide, has been in the news for problems related to its tissue expanders and BIOCELL implants for years. Following recalls in Canada, Europe, and Australia, the company heeded the FDA’s instructions and took the same products off the market in the United States.

What exactly, though, is wrong with Allergan’s BIOCELL breast implants?

According to the FDA, cases of BIA-ALCL related to textured breast implants have increased in recent years. Of the aforementioned 33 deaths and 573 occurrences of BIA-ALCL, several were linked to Allergan and its BIOCELL line. Specifically, 481 cases of the disease and 12 fatalities were linked to an Allergan product. With such alarming numbers, it’s no surprise this recall occurred.

Specific BIOCELL implants that are a part of this recall include, but are not limited to:

  • BIOCELL Textured Shaped Full Height, Full Projection Saline Breast Implants
  • BIOCELL Textured Shaped Full Height Moderate Projection Saline Breast Implants
  • BIOCELL Textured Round Midrange Projection Gel Filled Breast Implants
  • Natrelle 133 Plus Tissue Expander
  • Natrelle 133 Tissue Expander with Suture Tabs

While textured breast implants like Allergan’s BIOCELL line account for less than 5% of all breast implants sold in the U.S., it’s important to stay informed of issues related to this recall, as the availability and use of these products poses a major public health risk. On this danger, FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy said, “once the evidence indicated that Allergan’s product appeared to be directly linked to significant patient harm… the FDA took action to alert the firm to new evidence and that the recall is warranted.”

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A History of Breast Implant Lawsuits

Allergan has faced problems related to their breast implant products since the 1990s, and a history of litigation against companies producing similar goods has been developing since a decade earlier. In the early 1990s, thousands of women successfully filed and won a lawsuit against the Dow Corning Corporation for breast implant products that ruptured, leaked, and caused illness. The company eventually settled the case for billions of dollars, and accepted claims until June of this year.

In 2016 and 2017, Mentor Worldwide was the subject of two lawsuits when women alleged that the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary let defective products, such as their Mentor MemoryGel Silicone Breast Implants, onto the market. As a result of using these implants, the women developed symptoms and complained of nausea, heavy metal poisoning, skin issues, fatigue, and more.

Lawsuits against Allergan have been brought as recently as June 2019.

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Pursuing Damages After the Allergan Breast Implant Recall

If you’re using a recalled Allergan tissue expander BIOCELL product and have begun showing symptoms of BI-ALCL, it’s important to know that you have legal rights and options moving forward. You are one of many suffering issues related to these implants, and you could have the opportunity to participate in class action litigation. You also have the opportunity to file a claim on your own. Regardless of the path you take towards your lawful right to compensation, an attorney from our firm will help you fight for the following:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability and/or disfigurement
  • Physical limitations

Do You Need Help?

When we go to the doctor’s office or hospital for any medical procedure, we expect to leave healthy and in one piece. We don’t think that serious health issues will pop up weeks, months, or years after our appointments. The unfortunate truth, however, is that sometimes errors occur, and defective medical products make their way into the offices and facilities where we go for professional medical care. When that is the case, injuries and serious conditions often arise, sometimes necessitating legal action and the help of a knowledgeable class action attorney.