Dow Corning Breast Implants Litigation
Dow corning is a multinational American corporation that had its headquarters in Midland, United States. It was initially founded as a joint business venture between Corning Incorporated and Dow Chemicals. Dow initiated corning and this became a hundred percent Dow subsidiary. They existed this way for a short while before Down became the full owner in the year 2019. This new company specialized in producing silicone and was soon noticed as its largest producer worldwide. However, it appears as their popularity did not equal quality as Dow corning breast implant became a source of public concern not long after. Through the 1980s to 1990s lawsuits were filed against Dow silicone implants claiming that they caused health problems. These claims were first focused on cancer of the breast and then it moved to other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and several neurological problems.
As the years went by more and more lawsuits were filed which lead to a multibillion-dollar settlement in 1998. This sent Dow Corning into bankruptcy protection until June of 2004. During this time the company withdraws greatly from the clinical market. Although various independent reviews subsequently revealed that silicone implant is not a possible cause of cancer to the breast or any other systemic disease, in the year 2017, a statement was issued by the FDA stating that there is a low but higher risk for women who have breast implants to get anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare cancer form. This cancer has been connected to nine deaths. Due to this finding, there has been a small increase in surgeries involving breast removal.
Dow Corning Breast Implant Litigation
Aggravated individuals believe that Dow corning selling and marketing is a good example of a complaint that has no regard for the health of women. Although Dow corning began their settlement trust in the 1990s, they still received and paid claims up until June 3rd, 2019.
Candidates who were eligible for this settlement were those who earned from using Dow’s implant. Women who received Dow’s implants after they had a mastectomy or for cosmetic reasons have allegedly been through though health issues that the problems at hand are bigger than that which the implant was originally intended to solve.
Women have gotten settlements because of leakage, rupture, and other illnesses connected to the implants. This settlement is still paying women for worsening and new diseases linked to the implants. some of these diseases include arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia.
The Compensation Plan
Dow corning accepted to pay about $3.2 billion to about 170000 females who claimed that their implants got them sick. This means that individual women may receive about $12,000 to $60,000 per piece. The company also agreed to pay the sum of $5,000 to those who demand implant removal surgery and a $25,000 compensation fee to women with ruptured implants.
This was a major mark in the long scientific and legal battle that went on do more than seven years.
Breast implants entered the market during the 1960s. The government at that time did nothing to regulate its marketing or manufacturing. The food and drug authority in 1976 obtained permission to regulate these implants. Even then breast implants were still unregulated as the FDA was focused on addressing medical device backlogs in need of an evaluation.
By the year 1988, FDA categorized silicone implants as a class 3 medical device. This gave them the right to demand from the manufacturer’s heir safety information. However, even in the absence of this em and silicone implants were still marketed. That same year the advisory committee for plastic surgery said they were insufficient health risk evidence of this silicone so they could not be banned.
However, as of then, the first silicone implant lawsuit has been rounded up. Maria Stern was the complaint, she went away with the sum of $1.5million for punitive damages and $211,000 for compensatory damages from Dow corning. She claimed that the companies implant result leads to her autoimmune disease. The evidence Stern used during the trial was internal documents of the company which suggested they were aware of gel bleed and high rate of their implants rupture.
The public took no notice of Stern’s lawsuit until the year 1990 during the scheduled congressional hearing of breast implant safety.
Interestingly, the three scientist experts who gave their testimony in the hearings were plaintiff paid witnesses for implants litigation. Due to the increasing pressure from media reports and congressional hearings the General and plastic surgery team of FDA had a meeting where they discussed silicone implant safety.
Various medical organizations urged the FDA panel to fight the implants ban. The panel then agreed that manufacturers of silicone images submitted insufficient after data to settle the issue. They recommended that the implant could still be sold while they awaited pending safety studies.
In 1991 substantial verdicts were given to the plaintiff by the jury. A woman named Brenda Toole won a settlement price of $5.4million based on her claim that the implants elevated risks of autoimmune disease and breast cancer. A Marian Hopkins had her connective tissue illness linked to her implant rupture. She received the largest settlement amount of $7.3million.
A media frenzy began in December 1991 over this implant litigation and the Johnson Pamela lawsuit heightened it. Pamela claimed the ruptured MEC breast implants made her sick. Pamela was a smoker and there were no identified autoimmune disorders in her system. She testified to having suffered from several nonspecific issues like chronic fatigue, joint pain, dizziness, and muscle pain. Her lawyers even admired that there could be symptoms of bad flu. The fact that Pamela’s implants were for cosmetic purposes reduced the sympathy of the jury towards her situation. There was also evidence that the surgeon who carried out her surgery did it improperly.
While some people sought to take advantage of this company’s failure for their purposes there were thousands of genuine complaints and this led to the Dow Corning breast implant litigation in the years following.