This month attorneys have filed a request to centralize the Allergan Biocell textured breast implants lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation, also known as an MDL. The Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation, JPML, is a panel of judges who will decided whether to grant this request. An MDL would consolidate the several class action lawsuits that have been filed, along with any individual cases that have been or will be filed since the recall of the breast implants into one litigation before the same judge.
The FDA has reported that women with Allergan textured breast implants have a six fold increase in the risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, BIA-ALCL, a cancer associated with the recalled product, over any other manufacturer. The plaintiffs argue that these cases should be consolidated because of the number of women that have been affected and the commonality of their claims. Thousands of women have the recalled implants and hundreds have already began to exhibit symptoms of BIA-ALCL.
Although Allergan has agreed to cover the cost to replace the implant itself, it has not agreed to supplement any of the expenses associated with the replacement, such has the removal surgery or medical monitoring costs. The plaintiffs motion seeks to centralize the pending cases before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee or the United States District Court for the Central District of California. While the class action lawsuits have initiated the consolidation, individual BIA-ALCL claims will likely also be centralized into the MDL and will preserve their individual identities, utilizing the MDL processes while moving toward trial.