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J&J breast implants "may have harmed thousands", claims fresh lawsuit

Published on 06/02/17 at 10:54am

Mentor Worldwide, a unit of US pharma firm Johnson & Johnson, has been accused of selling defective breast implants and is currently engaged in legal action over alleged health problems faced by a number of women.

Rexine Mize and others have claimed that the company’s faulty MemoryGel product has led them to experience nausea and muscle pain, among other symptoms, due to leaking of the implant; the lawsuit filed accuses Mentor Worldwide of failure to adequately researching and warning patients of the health risks posed by the product, as required by government regulators.

"We believe the problems with Mentor’s silicone implant are pervasive and may have harmed thousands of women," stated lawyer Jaime Moss, who filed the case. "This suit may be just the tip of the iceberg," anticipating a rise in litigation over breast implant devices reminiscent of the 1980s and 90s.

A case filed in September last year also accused J&J and Mentor Worldwide for the same claims; Sara Ebrahimi claimed the implants had caused fatigue and skin rashes, but more worryingly, had released metal traces into her blood.

Silicone-based implants were banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for 14 years until 2006, with J&J’s Mentor the only company authorised to sell them alongside Allergan and Sientra. The silicone-based variation was banned in 1992 following a string of lawsuits from hundreds of thousands of women alleging they had caused cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, leading to over demand to pay out $3.2 billion in compensation.

Matt Fellows

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