The Aging of Implants: A Timeline of Silicone Implant Court Cases

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Check out this interactive infographic on the history of silicone implant court cases.

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The Aging of Implants: A Timeline of Silicone Implant Court Cases

1960: Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin develop the first silicone breast implants.

1962: Timmie Jean Lindsey is the first to go under the knife for the implants.

1976: Congress passed the Medical Device Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Breast Implants are labeled Class II, meaning each product requires premarket approval by the FDA.

1977: Dow Corning pays 170,000 in the first lawsuit for a ruptured implant.

1982: The FDA proposes the upgrade of silicone breast implants to Class III category, meaning they must be proven safe in order to remain on the market.

1984: Maria Stern is awarded 211,000 in compensatory damages and 1.5 million in punitive damages from Dow Corning by a jury that found that her silicone breast implants caused her autoimmune disease.

This was the first time the relationship between autoimmune disease and silicone implants is introduced.

A court order seals all evidence.

1988: The FDA acts on its 1982 proposal and upgrades implants to Class III, setting a due date of July 1991 for scientific proof that they are safe.

1991: A jury awards Brenda Toole a 5.4 million settlement against Baxter/Heyer-Shulte after witnesses report finding silicone in her lymphatic system.

September: The FDA finds data submitted by implant manufacturers to be inconclusive and asks for further research.

November: The FDA assembles the General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel, which asks for more safety data.

December: Mariann Hopkins wins 7.3 million against Dow Corning when her lawyer links her ruptured silicone breast implants to her mixed connective tissue disease.

By this time there are 137 suits filed against Dow Corning.

1992: January: Manufacturers agree to a voluntary moratorium on distributing new implants pending FDA consideration.

February: Stan Chesley files a class action lawsuit in an effort to help women more quickly than filing individually.

The General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel recommend limiting implants for reconstruction and that women receiving them are studied for risks of autoimmune disease.

The panel finds no causal link between autoimmune disease and silicone breast implants.

March: Dow Corning, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Bioplasty all decide to no longer manufacture silicone breast implants.

December: Pamela Jean Johnson is awarded 5 million in actual damages and 20 million in punitive damages from Bristol-Myers Squibb by a jury who finds her ruptured implants were linked to several medical symptoms, including mixed connective tissue disease, chronic fatigue, and joint pain.

1993: December: There are now 12,359 individual suits filed against Dow Corning.

1994: A jury awards 3 Houston women a total of 27.9 million from 3M for their silicone implant related autoimmune illnesses.

March: The class action lawsuit filed in 1992 finalizes, bringing in Baxter, Bristol Myers Squibb/MEC, and 3M. It is the largest class action suit in history, at 4.2 billion.

December: 19,092 lawsuits are now filed against Dow Corning.

1995: February: Gladys Laas is awarded 5.2 million by a jury that found Dow corning guilty of deceptive practices. Her husband is awarded 1 million for loss of consortium.

Dow Corning is now facing 20,000 individual lawsuits and approximately 400,000 claims in the class action settlement.

May: Dow Corning files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, effectively halting litigation.

October: Charlotte Mahlum is awarded 13.9 million in the first trial to name Dow Chemical (the parent company) as the sole defendant.

December: There are now 13,000 individual suits against Dow Chemical.

1998: Dow Corning settles several injury claims with a 3.2 billion offer. This allows Dow to halt bankruptcy proceedings.

November: Dow Corning files for reorganization and offers payout options to claimants.

December: Nevada Supreme Court upholds the 41 million awarded to Charlotte Mahlum for her compensatory damages but overturns a 10 million punitive award.

1999: An attorney wins a 10 million settlement against Bristol Myer Squibb for her claim that implants caused her scleroderma.

2012: Dow Corning continues to pay for implant complications. Cumulative payments through January 2012 amount to 1,264 billion.

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