Lawsuits involving Allergan, Inc.’s Biocell textured breast implants are moving forward in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, where an initial Case Management Conference was convened on January 13th.
According to a Case Management Order issued that same day, the Court has directed plaintiffs’ counsel to meet and confer on a possible leadership structure. Their subsequent proposal must be submitted to the Court by January 16th.
Parties’ counsel must also meet and confer on the following matters: ESI orders and protective orders, preservation order, fact sheets, short form complaint and answer, filing of anonymous pleadings, census/early vetting procedures and science day.
The Order also sets forth the following schedule of regular monthly Case Management Conferences.
Each conference will begin 12:00 p.m., with liaison counsel to appear at 11:00 a.m.
There are approximately three dozen Allergan breast implant lawsuits now pending in the District of New Jersey. The centralized litigation was created last year to allow all federal claims alleging an association between Biocell textured implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) to undergo coordinated discovery and other pretrial proceedings.
Allergan recalled Biocell textured implants last summer, after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) review linked the devices to breast implant-associated ALCL, a rare and slow growing form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can develop in the scar tissue that forms around breast implants.
The FDA began investigating breast implant-associated ALCL in 2011, and was already aware that the majority of cases had occurred in women with textured breast implants. That investigation ultimately determined that Allergan Biocell textured implants were involved in 80% of the reported incidents, as well as 12 of the 13 fatalities in which a manufacturer was identified.
Plaintiffs who have sued Allergan over breast implant cancer claim the company was aware of the link between Biocell textured devices and ALCL from performing extensive decades-long clinical studies, reviewing scientific studies and literature, FDA communications, government reports, and complaints from consumers, among other sources. Yet this information was never disclosed to the public or medical community.