On July 24, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that ‘it had found evidence that Allergan textured breast implants had of contracting a type of cancer called breast implant–associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL. Since then, there has been a serious of lawsuits against the manufacturer Allergan. If you keep reading, you will find out about the main injury scenarios related to breast implants. We will investigate about who can be held negligent when there is a breast implant malfunction, and its connection to Medical Malpractice.
Breast augmentations are a cosmetic surgical procedure that changes the size of the breast using fat transfer or implants. In 2020, breast augmentation were the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery in the United States, says Statista. Furthermore, the age range among breast implants surgeries in the United States is between 35 to 50 years old. Among all cosmetic-breast-implant surgeries, those aged 35 to 50 represented almost 50% of the total amount of people getting a breast implant surgery.
There has always been a lot of implications and concerns surrounding cosmetic surgeries and procedures. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), for every two women who have had breast implants since 1997, there was one woman who went under the knife to have her breasts reduced. The main difference between these two is that in the breast augmentation procedure, there is an external device (breast implants) being placed in the human body.
In 1895, Vincent Czerny performed the very first breast augmentation on a 41 year old singer. The artist had a painful lump in her breast and was encouraged to have it removed. Moreover, Dr. Czerny realized that she also happened to have a large Lipoma in her lower back. According to Mayo Clinic, “a lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that’s most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer”. They are quite common and do not cause cancer or any harm other than the mere fact that they can become uncomfortable and unsightly.
In 1962, surgeons Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin began searching for a way to test breast implants on a human female. Gerow offered his new silicone products to Timmie Jean Lindsey, a 29-year-old mother of six. So, that was how the world’s first breast implant surgery was performed at Jefferson Davis hospital in Houston, Texas. In 1997, movie stars David Schwimmer & Chris Cooper, participated in the movie “Breast Men”, directed by Lawrence O’Neil, where the story about the first official breast implant augmentation occurred.
The main injury claimed in Allergan breast implant lawsuits is a rare type of cancer called breast implant–associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL. So far, the majority of reported cases worldwide involved Allergan’s textured implants, according to the FDA. BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer. It is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These cancerous cells develop in scar tissue and fluid near the implant, and in some cases it can spread and lead to death.
In March 2021, a federal judge in New Jersey shut down part of a “multi-district lawsuit against Allergan over its Biocell textured breast implants”, which according to Mass Device, Allergan failed to report adverse events related to Biocell implants to the FDA. However, there are currently several class-action lawsuits pending for victims of defective breast implants. According to Cornell University, class-action lawsuits are brought by one or a few people on behalf of a larger group of plaintiffs who have suffered similar damages or have a similar claim.
When discussing breast implant malfunction, the majority of lawsuits based on defective breast implants involve the injured person (the “plaintiff”) suing the manufacturer of the breast implants. This is what explains the main difference between a Medical Malpractice case versus a Product Liability claim. A case against the manufacturer of the implant would fall under the category of product liability and might include claims such as ‘strict liability’, ‘failure to warn’, ‘implied warranties’, negligence and even fraud.
On the contrary, a medical malpractice claim would occur after a medical or health care professional acts in a way that deviates from the standards of his or her profession. Moreover, this negligent act should be the leading cause of the injury of the patient. There are several common causes of negligence, such us those carelessness acts arising from errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.
There are many reasons why breast augmentation surgery can go very wrong. According to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, the most common reason for filing a claim after a breast augmentation is disfigurement. This after-surgery problem accounts for more than 50% of the total lawsuits related to breast implant injuries. In addition, an improper placement of the breast implants can lead to other injury-related scenarios, such as:
Any type of medical-related injury is scary, and should be addressed and fixed, medically and legally. That is where you a personal injury attorney can help you and guide you into the right direction. At Malloy Law Offices, LLC, we have handled cases related to breast implants injuries and medical malfunction, due to medical errors, or product liability scenarios. If you or a loved one suffered an injury after a breast augmentation procedure, contact our firm in order to learn more about your legal options. Call now (202) 933-1918.