The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has assigned approximately 30 cases to U.S. District Judge Brian Martinotti of the District of New Jersey, under the style In Re: Allergan Biocell Textured Breast Implant Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 2921.
On December 18 2019 the Panel ruled that though the parties did not oppose centralization, they disagreed on the transferee district. The Plaintiffs had proposed the Central District of California, the Middle District of Tennessee, Southern District of Florida and the District of Kansas. Defendant Allergan had requested the District of New Jersey. The Court stated that “Defendant Allergan, USA, Inc. also has it’s headquarters and principal place of business in that district and a significant number of potential witnesses and common evidence would be located there. There are related cases pending in fourteen additional districts.
Briefly, the lawsuits allege that Allergan, based in Dublin, knew that its Biocell textured breast implants, in tens of thousands of women, increased the chances of getting anaplastic large cell lymphoma but failed to warn about those risks. Allergan recalled its implants July 24, 2019.
Recalled Products include:
Allergan Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Products:
- Allergan Natrelle Saline-Filled Textured Breast Implants
- Allergan Natrelle Silicone-Filled Textured Breast Implants
- Allergan Natrelle® 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone- Filled Textured Breast Implants
- Allergan Natrelle 133 Plus Tissue Expander
- Allergan Natrelle 133 Tissue Expander with Suture Tabs
Other pertinent information:
- Lot numbers: All lots (for complete listing of all styles, see the FDA Safety Communication)
- Manufacturing Dates: July 25, 2014 – June 21, 2019
- Distribution Dates: September 14, 2014- July 24, 2019
- Devices Recalled in the U.S.: 246,381
- Date Initiated by Firm: July 24, 2019
The Court ruled that they “find that these actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. All actions arise out of Allergan’s announcement on July 24, 2019, of a voluntary worldwide recall of its BIOCELL textured breast implants and tissue expanders. The announcement followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s request to initiate the recall based on the risk of breast-implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) associated with the products.4 All actions share complex factual questions arising from the allegation that Allergan’s BIOCELL textured breast implants and tissue expanders significantly increase the risk of developing BIA-ALCL, and that Allergan failed to warn the FDA, patients, and healthcare providers of this risk.” “The common factual questions include: (1) whether BIOCELL textured breast implants and tissue expanders can cause BIA-ALCL; (2) whether defendants knew or should have known of the risk of BIA-ALCL; (3) whether they provided adequate warnings as to the risk; and (4) the adequacy of defendants’ product.”
The Panel then ordered the actions listed on Schedule A of the Order pending outside of the District of New Jersey, be transferred there with the consent of that court.