Mass claim case starts in Amsterdam over breast implants
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Amsterdam District Court. Photo: Dutch News

More than 6,000 women in the Netherlands are supporting a new class action case against pharmaceuticals firm Abbvie to claim damages for their faulty breast implants.

The women’s legal aid organisation Bureau Clara Wichmann is taking the case to court, and says the total claim could mount up to €900 million because a further 54,000 women in the Netherlands also had the implants.

“Some women experience symptoms, others do not. Either way, all of them are entitled to proper information,” said foundation lawyer Linde Bryk. “We want to make it possible for them to receive compensation for a defective product. Women should be able to decide themselves whether or not to have their implants replaced.”

The case, which opened in Amsterdam on Friday, centres on ‘textured’ implants named Biocell or Natrelle which were manufactured by Allergan, later taken over by Abbvie. The implants are known to give women a higher risk of developing a rare form of lymphoma known as Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma.

The foundation is demanding damages to pay for the cost of removing the implants and breast reconstruction. In addition, the foundation wants damages to cover the pain and suffering the operation will cause.

The health service inspectorate says removal is not necessary but that if women notice changes, they should contact a doctor.

The likelihood of developing the cancer remains very low and in the Netherlands there have been 90 cases, NOS said.

The implants have not been used in the Netherlands since 2018 and Allergan removed them from sale in 2019.

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