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Continued Concern over Defective, Dangerous Breast Implants

As it turns out, it’s not just a problem French women have.

According to a recent report by MSNBC, since 2000, U.S. health authorities have been concerned about French breast implants that were surgically embedded in hundreds of thousands of women worldwide. Now that the manufacturer of the devices has come under scrutiny from European regulators, our Chicago personal injury lawyers have increasing concern for American women who could potentially be harmed by these implants.

After a visit to manufacturer Poly Implant Prothese’s (PIP’s) plant by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA sent a letter to the corporation warning the company that the implants were potentially hazardous, and cited 11 ways in which the business’ production process deviated from acceptable manufacturing standards.

As it turns out, both types of implants manufactured by the corporation have come under serious scrutiny: initially the problems had to do with PIP’s saline implants, but ultimately PIP’s silicone implants were removed from the market as well, reported MSNBC. The silicone implants were defective because they used industrial-grad silicone, as opposed to medical-grade silicone. As a result, the implants appear to have an unusually high rupture rate, which can lead to very serious medical complications.

In fact, according to MSNBC, currently there is an ongoing investigation into involuntary homicide, following the death from cancer of a woman who had received PIP implants that ruptured. There have also been numerous lawsuits filed in the United States based on injuries suffered when the implants deflated years after they were inserted. More than 300,000 women received the company’s implants, so more lawsuits may arise as the defective implants continue to fail.

This situation is a prime example of Illinois product liability law; product liability is an area of Chicago personal injury law that focuses on dangerous and defective products. It is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and others who manufacture and disseminate goods to the public are held responsible for the injuries caused by those products.

When consumers are harmed because products are unsafe, an Illinois personal injury lawsuit may arise, and the corporations responsible for production may be made to pay compensatory damages to put the consumer back in the position they were in before the injury occurred. This includes covering medical and hospital expenses, and in more serious cases, compensating the victim for a loss of normal life or lost wages. In this case, because the implants have failed and caused injury to patients, PIP could be held legally responsible for damages caused by those injuries.

In some cases when the companies’ errors are egregious, they may also be made to pay punitive damages which serve to punish the company and to send a message to others in the same position to be more careful in the future. Because PIP knowingly used unsatisfactory material in making the implants, they could be liable for punitive damages as well.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers understand the dangers associated with defective medical and surgical products. In fact, our attorneys brought a case against Orion Research Inc. and Baxter Health Care Corporation for a flawed test for the genetic disease cystic fibrosis. The failures of the test led a set of parents to have second child born with cystic-fibrosis. In addition to winning a substantial settlement for the family, our attorneys and the family were more concerned with the discontinuation of the test. As a result of our efforts, the test was eliminated.

If you or a loved on have been harmed as a result of these dangerous, defective implants, and have suffered injury as a result of the negative side effects, talk to your doctor immediately, and contact an attorney to learn whether you are entitled to compensation under the law.