Allergan Inc. is facing yet another lawsuit over recalled Biocell textured breast implants.
This latest complaint was filed on October 22nd in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, and seeks to force Allegan to cover the cost of removing and replacing the potentially cancer-causing devices.
Allergan’s Biocell textured implants and tissue expanders were subject to a worldwide recall earlier this year, after a U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) review linked the devices to a rare cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.
BIA-ALCL is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that occurs in the tissue surrounding breast implants. Symptoms typically include:
The FDA has been investigating BIA-ALCL since 2011, and was already aware that the majority of cases had occurred in women with textured breast implants. Over the summer, however, the agency disclosed that Allergan Biocell textured breast implants had been implicated in 80% of BIA-ALCL reports, as well as 12 of the 13 fatalities in which a manufacturer was identified.
Allergan announced the global breast implant recall following a request from the FDA.
The Florida lawsuit seeks class actions status on behalf of all Biocell textured breast implant recipients, as well as $5 million in damages for the cost of removing and replacing the devices, something Allergan has not offered, despite removing the dangerous implants from the market.
This presents women with a “horrible choice: remove the Implant and pay surgical and associated costs out of their own pocket or live in fear knowing that their Implants have increased their risk of developing cancer,” the lawsuit says.
The complaint accuses Allergan of knowingly selling defective products and violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Five additional Allergan breast implant lawsuits asserting similar allegations are currently pending in federal courts in California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Tennessee. Several plaintiffs involved in these claims have asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to centralize the growing docket before a single judge in one federal jurisdiction.
The JPML will hear oral arguments on the motion during its December 5th hearing session in Austin, Texas.