Have you or a loved one been given a cancer diagnosis for Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) after complications arising from breast augmentation surgery involving Allergan BIOCELL® breast implants? You may be entitled to compensation.
Back in 1992, amid increased safety concerns, the United States banned the use of silicone breast implants. Before the ban, many women were experiencing horrible side effects and illnesses in the years following their breast augmentation surgeries and were forced to pay not only for the initial augmentation but also for the screenings and surgeries required to remove the devices before more damage was done. Although the Food and Drug Administration reluctantly lifted the ban in 2006, breast implant lawsuits have continued.
Defective or leaking implants still cause harm to thousands of women every year. Many women get breast implants because they need breast reconstruction following a mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast, often due to cancer). These women endure pain, infection, numbness, and many other negative side effects following surgery. Some even develop a rare form of cancer, which can have devastating consequences for any woman and her loved ones.
Every victim deserves fair compensation for the physical and psychological damage this causes. The New Mexico breast implant lawyers at Will Ferguson & Associates are here to help you get the support you need to pursue your claim.
Implants are most commonly used for breast augmentation or reconstruction following a mastectomy. The surgery is fairly straightforward, and successful breast surgery can greatly improve a patient’s quality and outlook on life.
To perform the surgery, a surgeon first makes an incision in the area surrounding the breast or areola and positions the implant either in front of or behind your pectoral muscle. Breast implants vary in shape and size to suit every body type, but they are all made up of either saline or silicone gel.
Silicone breast implants contain either liquid silicone or silicone gel. These are often the best choice for breast augmentation because of their natural look and feel, and the textured version of these implants ensures the implant will not move from its original placement. However, you may not realize when there is a rupture, as the implant may remain inflated. Regular visits to your surgeon for screening are essential to check on the implant’s condition. Silicone breast implants are approved for use in women aged 22 or older.
Saline breast implants contain sterile salt water. If one of these implants ruptures, the body will absorb the water and the implant will collapse. You are much more likely to notice a saline implant rupture than a silicone one. These types of implants are approved for breast augmentation in women over 18.
Most breast implant complications happen around the chest area, affecting the breast and its surrounding tissue, lymph nodes and areas around the armpit. Often, these complications require additional operations to not only remove the implant, but also correct the tissue. The most commonly reported breast implant injuries are:
While complications such as infections usually happen soon after the procedure, others like capsular contracture and rupturing of the breast implant may happen at any time including years later. When this happens, it can lead to lasting health issues.
Some breast implants have also been associated with an increased risk of cancer, which can have fatal consequences. If you lost a loved one due to cancer caused by breast implant complications, contact our law firm Will Ferguson & Associates immediately to see if you have a claim.
Breast implants aren’t meant to last a lifetime. At some point, a rupture will happen. This risk is higher the longer you have your implants, as typical wear and tear will cause a rip or hole in the outer shell of the implant. When this happens, a saline breast implant will deflate, and the liquid will be absorbed into your body. However, since silicone gel is thicker, it may remain in the shell of the implant or in scar tissue around the breast. This means the implant may not deflate, so most silicone gel ruptures go unnoticed.
You should have regular checkups with your surgeon to insure your breast implants are intact. If a rupture happens, the implants must be removed or replaced as soon as possible.
Filing a personal injury claim is a big decision that requires a lot of preparation. The burden of proof in a breast implant lawsuit is yours, which means you will need documented facts to prove your case. This will require the collection of your medical records to show healthcare appointments, plastic surgery records, and documentation of any follow-up visits.
In New Mexico, records from a medical doctor can be accessed for 2 years beyond what insurance requires, and hospital records are available for 10 years following the last treatment date.
To file your claim, you will need to file the standard court documents like a formal complaint or petition and serve a summons to the defendant. We know this may sound intimidating and overwhelming. The last thing you need is the additional stress of figuring out how to get compensation for your damages by yourself, especially when what happened is not your fault. Let the attorneys at Will Ferguson & Associates ease that burden and help you navigate the legal system so you can focus on getting your life back as soon as possible.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in the state of New Mexico is three years after the surgery. However, specific injuries such as cancer or other lifelong conditions may have an extended statute of three years after the injury should have been discovered. If a manufacturer or surgeon is shown to have been deliberately negligent, the statute of limitations is even longer.
Don’t put off filing a claim for your breast implant injury. Will Ferguson & Associates will make sure to resolve your claim before the statute of limitations runs out.
To receive compensation in a breast implant malpractice case in New Mexico, a court must recognize the following has occurred:
All of the above must be established in order to win your malpractice claim. In addition to liability, proof of damages must be shown in order to be awarded compensation for them. Once proven, you may be compensated for pain and suffering and economic claims.
Financial compensation for a breast implant lawsuit comes in two forms: Economic and non-economic. Non-economic damages fall under New Mexico’s “pain and suffering” laws and cover any physical or emotional pain you experience due to your injury.
Economic damages commonly include the following:
As early as 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began warning the public of a potential risk associated with silicone breast implants and injections. Hundreds of women who had received implants or injections were later diagnosed with a rare, aggressive, and deadly form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma known as anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL). Mounting evidence has led the FDA to form a causal link between certain silicone breast implants and ALCL.
In 2019, the FDA issued a warning letter to Allergan, one of the world’s largest implant manufacturers, asking them to recall its textured breast implants from the market voluntarily.
Though ALCL has occurred in some patients with smooth breast implants, analyses showed that Allergan’s BIOCELL® Natrelle textured implants had a risk 6 times higher than other types of implants or tissue expanders.
Some 600 Allergan breast implant cases have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Allergan and its parent company, AbbVie, have been accused of manufacturing a device with a known cancer risk. The companies also face accusations of failure to adequately warn patients about the risk.
Those at risk for ALCL following their Allergan BIOCELL® implant surgery are seeking compensation for costs associated with the removal or replacement of the implants, as well as the potential cost of future cancer concerns. That’s because the recall only covers the cost of replacement implants. It does not pay for the surgery needed to remove the dangerous implants. Our attorneys find this unacceptable and demand Allergan take responsibility.
Allergan is also facing a growing number of lawsuits filed by patients already diagnosed with ALCL. Some of these patients have not been able to obtain assistance with their medical bills. These lawsuits are very important in that regard as they are sometimes the only way a patient can get the care they need without financial ruin.
If successful, class actions could force Allergan to pay for the costs of surgery for those who want the recalled implants removed, and also pay for diagnostic testing and medical monitoring for those who have Biocell implants but do not wish to remove them.
The women who received Allergan BIOCELL® breast implants or tissue expanders did not know the risks they were taking, which means there are now hundreds of thousands of women at risk of deadly consequences. Many received Allergan BIOCELL® implants after the risks became known, but still were not warned.
Allergan complied with the FDA’s recommended recall, but there is still concern that women may not be properly informed. Allergan did not have adequate tracking on those that had received their implants, and while they launched a social media campaign to help identify their patients, many were never notified directly. Many have experienced difficulty getting treatment or medical services from the company.
The bottom line is that Allergan’s lack of quality control, sub-par testing, and poor tracking of those that received these implants may have cost hundreds of women their lives. If you or someone you know in New Mexico needs help with a breast implant claim, please call Will Ferguson & Associates today.
The link between breast implants and ALCL was first discovered by the FDA in 2011. In 2016 it was further classified as a type of T-cell Lymphoma known as “breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma” (BIA-ALCL or simply ALCL) by the World Health Organization. The FDA announced in 2017 that textured breast implants carried a higher risk of ALCL than smooth implants.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma is not breast cancer as most people currently define it. It is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that affects the white blood cells essential for our immune system. ALCL causes T-cells (a type of white blood cell) to produce too much of a certain kind of protein that increases the growth of cells in the lymph tissue that surrounds a breast implant.
Breast implant cancer is thought to be related to inflammation caused by breast implants. Since Allergan BIOCELL® textured breast implants create more irritation and inflammation, they are linked to more cases of ALCL.
As of 2019, the FDA has only recommended the removal of silicone breast implants in those that have experienced symptoms of ALCL. All women with these implants should keep a close watch for the following symptoms:
These symptoms can appear years after your implant surgery, so never stop being vigilant. ALCL is an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that should be taken seriously. If you have noticed any of these symptoms following implant surgery, document them and visit a healthcare provider immediately.
If it is detected early, anaplastic large cell lymphoma may be treatable by removing the implant and surrounding tissue. In other cases, cancer may spread to other areas of the body which can require chemotherapy or radiation.
It takes an average of 8 years from the time of the original implant surgery for cancer to be diagnosed. This knowledge is pressing some women to have their implants removed, but Allergan is not currently covering the cost of cancer treatment or removal surgery. This lack of coverage has left women no choice but to file lawsuits against Allergan to seek assistance for the financial and emotional hardships associated with Allergan’s BIOCELL® breast implants.
Allergan has recalled its BIOCELL breast implant products, which include:
The following tissue expanders, which are medical devices used to create space before breast surgery, are also included in the recall:
If you aren’t sure if you have one of these Allergan BIOCELL® breast implants or tissue expanders, you can check your patient device card provided by your surgeon or healthcare provider. If you weren’t given a device card or if it has been lost, you should be able to receive the device information directly from your surgeon.
If all else fails, you can contact Allergen’s Medical Information Hotline at 1-800-678-1605 to see if they have a record of supplying your implants.
Due to the recall, Allergan will pay for the replacement of their textured breast implants, but they are not yet required to pay for the surgery to facilitate the replacement. If you do not yet have symptoms, the FDA has no formal recommendation to remove Allergan BIOCELL® textured breast implants. However, if you have signs of anaplastic large cell lymphoma, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. Removal might be necessary to ensure your health.
Keeping these implants in your body could very well be a ticking time bomb. With over 600 lawsuits filed for injuries resulting from Allergan BIOCELL® breast implants, more and more women are experiencing this life-threatening situation. It could only be a matter of time before the implant ruptures and causes irreversible damage to your body and well-being.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, specifically anaplastic large cell lymphoma, after receiving any of Allergan BIOCELL® textured breast implants or tissue expanders, you may be eligible for compensation.
If you received Allergan BIOCELL®textured breast implants but haven’t been diagnosed with cancer, you may still be eligible for compensation.
You can contact the law offices of Will Ferguson & Associates to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to discuss your injuries related to Allergan BIOCELL® textured breast implants.
Those of us at Will Ferguson & Associates are on your side. Our trial advocates want to help you receive just compensation for any injuries caused by faulty and potentially dangerous breast implants and tissue expanders. Contact us today at 505-657-2913 to see how we can help you with your claim. Consultations are free and confidential. You don’t pay until we win.
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