Allergan Lawsuit (2024 Update) – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

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Cosmetic surgery can help people feel more confident and comfortable with themselves. Unfortunately, some types of cosmetic surgery have historically increased the risk of life-threatening illnesses. Breast implants, in particular, have long been accused of causing health conditions, including an immune system cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Recently, a manufacturer of breast implants, Allergan, has been accused of failing to inform patients of the risks associated with their breast implants. This has led to a multidistrict litigation brought against Allergan.

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What Is Allergan?

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Allergan was founded in 1948 by pharmacist Gavin Herbert. Although the company was initially known for eye and nose drops, it expanded into offering other medical products. Their best-known product is Botox, for which Allergan received a patent in 1989.

Over the years, Allergan was involved in several mergers. AbbVie, an American biopharmaceutical company, currently owns it.

In 2006, Allergan received FDA approval for their Natrelle line of breast implants. This line featured many different types of implants and tissue expanders, including saline, silicone, smooth, and textured. Of particular interest to this case are the silicone-filled Natrelle BIOCELL textured implants.

Textured implants are not the norm in the United States; they only make up less than 10% of all implants. As the name implies, these implants have a slightly rough surface that encourages the growth of the individual’s tissue around the implant, making it less able to move under the skin than a smooth implant. This allows for the implant to stay in a particular shape.


Why Are Allergan Breast Implant Lawsuits Filed?

In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration acknowledged a possible association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (now called BIA-ALCL). The FDA continued to investigate this association and whether there was a causal relationship between breast implants and BIA-ALCL.

In March 2019, the FDA stated that there was not enough evidence to ban certain implants, but they did a quick about-face, and in July 2019, the agency requested that Allegan remove their textured implants from the market. Allergan instituted a worldwide recall. At this point, they had already recalled their textured implants in Europe and Canada.

Some people who received Allergan implants allege that Allergan knew of the connection between their implants and BIA-ALCL since at least 2011 and continued to sell them. These people also allege that Allergan concealed evidence of this connection and bypassed FDA-established reporting requirements. If these allegations are true, Allergan may be found responsible for some people developing BIA-ALCL.

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History of Allergan Lawsuits

The first Allergan lawsuit regarding textured breast implants and BIA-ALCL was filed in 2018. In 2019, all open cases were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey. This MDL is still in the early stages and is ongoing.


Allergan’s Response

Allergan has acknowledged that people with some models of their breast implants are at an increased risk of developing BIA-ALCL. They also state that, as per the FDA, people with these implants who do not have symptoms do not need to have their implants or expanders removed.

Allergan filed a motion to dismiss the MDL because the FDA had approved their devices. They argued that federal regulations override state laws, so the MDL has no grounds. The case was not dismissed based on this motion.


Recent Developments in Allergan Lawsuits

These lawsuits are still in an early phase. There are currently over 1,000 plaintiffs involved in the MDL. The MDL is currently in the discovery phase, where attorneys for both the plaintiffs and defendants collect evidence to support their case.

A major component of an MDL is the bellwether cases. These are the first heard cases, and they often predict how other cases in the MDL might go. Bellwether cases have not been established in the Allergan case. This makes it difficult to predict what might happen and the size of any potential settlements.


Can I Still File an Allergan Lawsuit?

Cases are currently being added to the Allergan breast implant MDL. If you meet the criteria, you still have the opportunity to join.


How to File an Allergan Lawsuit

  • Speak with an attorney as soon as possible. You will need an attorney knowledgeable about multidistrict litigation cases to assist you. There are attorneys and law firms that focus on MDLs and understand the specifics of them. You do not need to be in the exact geographical location as your attorney. If you have a trusted attorney who does not handle MDLs, they can provide you with a reference.
  • Collect any evidence that supports your case. If you still have the information provided to you when your implants were placed, this can be very helpful. In addition, you’ll want to find evidence that you have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL or another condition associated with Allergan implants.
  • Do not speak with anyone about the MDL without your attorney’s knowledge. MDLs are extremely complicated cases with a lot of moving parts. Do not discuss the case with anyone other than your attorney or without your attorney’s knowledge, including press members. Doing so could be detrimental to your case.
  • Your attorney will handle the paperwork to get you enrolled in the MDL. Follow any directions your attorney provides. Cases are not automatically accepted into the MDL; for example, if you did not develop BIA-ALCL or another condition related to Allergan implants, your case will not be included.
  • Your case will be evaluated on its own. MDLs consolidate much of the pretrial proceedings to reduce the amount of time spent in this phase. Discovery, in particular, can take months. However, each case in an MDL is considered independently, and each case receives its own verdict. Just because previous cases were successful does not guarantee your case will be.
  • You may be required to testify or be questioned about the case. Either during the discovery process or during the trial of your individual case, you might need to answer questions about your case. Your lawyer will prepare you for this prior to it happening.
  • If your case is successful, you may be offered a settlement. Most MDLs result in a settlement rather than a verdict. There is no way of knowing how your case will conclude ahead of time. Bellwether trials are more likely to end in a verdict, as they are the first to go to trial and often set the tone for the other cases in the MDL.


Compensation for Allergan

Without the results of bellwether trials, it is premature to speculate on compensation amounts in Allergan breast implant lawsuits.

However, there were several lawsuits brought against breast implant manufacturers in the 1990s. Some of these lawsuits resulted in trusts being established for people harmed by implants. These trusts paid anywhere from the low five figures to the mid six figures. This does not mean that any potential Allergan settlement will be in line with or influenced by these amounts. Instead, the information is provided as an illustration of previous compensation provided in cases associated with illness caused by breast implants.

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The Last Word on Allergan Lawsuits

The Allergan breast implant MDL is still in its early phases. However, it is important to remember that personal injury claims like this fall under the statute of limitations of the state where they were initially filed.These statutes of limitations can be as short as one year, although most fall within the two-year to five-year range.

Because of the statute of limitations, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

People with Allergan implants should speak with their doctors about recommendations going forward. Additional screenings may be ordered.

Remember, each case is unique and has its own set of circumstances. Your best chance at recovering damages is with an experienced mass tort or MDL attorney on your side.

Were You Diagnosed With BIA-ALCL Or Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma After Receiving A Breast Implant?

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Allergan accepting responsibility for the issues raised in the lawsuits?

Allergan acknowledges that people with certain models of their breast implants may be more likely to develop BIA-ALCL. Under their current warranty, they offer $1000 for diagnostic expenses to determine whether BIA-ALCL is present and up to $7500 to remove the implants if BIA-ALCL is found. However, the warranty on your particular Allergan product may differ. You should speak to your attorney before making any warranty claims.

What compensation are individuals using Allergan seeking?

Individuals with affected Allergan breast implants are requesting compensation for medical diagnosis, medical treatment and, in some cases, pain and suffering.

Will Allergan replace my implants?

Allergan will replace recalled implants, but there’s a catch — for implants that are not causing adverse effects, they will only pay the cost of the replacement implants, not the surgical costs to remove the recalled implants or place the new ones. Allergan states that the FDA does not recommend the removal of recalled implants that do not cause adverse effects.

Have Allergan implants been recalled?

Not all Allergan implants have been recalled. A list of the recalled models can be found on the FDA’s website. If you are unsure of which implant you have, contact the doctor who initially performed the breast enhancement surgery. They should be able to provide you with information.

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