Breast Implants Ignite Silicone Furor - Leader's Product Liability Law and Strategy - January 1st, 1992

By: Stuart M. Wise
Leader's Product Liability Law and Strategy
January 1992

Names in the News

Below are some names that have come up in reports on breast implant litigation and surrounding controversy.

Plaintiffs' Attorneys

Bruce Finzen of Minneapolis' Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi is handling silicone breast and hip prostheses cases. Karen Koskoff of Bridgeport, Conn.'s Koskoff, Koskoff andBieder, co-chairwoman of the American Trial Lawyers Association's Breast Implant Group, plans to name plastic surgeons as defendants in implant suits she files. Salvador Liccardo of San Jose, Calif.'s Caputo, Liccardo, Rossi, Sturges and McNeil represents women in more than 200 breast implant cases and is handling other silicone related injury suits involving testicles and chins. Kenneth B. Moll of Chicago's McDowell, Moll, Fitzgibbons and Drew represents at least 50 women with breast implant claims.

Medical Experts

Dr. Nir Kossovsky, a specialist in biomaterials and pathology at the University of California at Los Angeles, has been researching the effects of silica and silicone on the body. Marc Lappe, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, has testified on behalf of breast implant plaintiffs, but a New York plaintiff's verdict recently was reduced because some of Professor Lappe's testimony was deemed inadmissable. Dr. Noel R. Rose professor and chairman of the Department of Immunology at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, has testified in court on behalf of Dow Corning. Dr. Melvin J. Silverstein of the Breast Center in Van Nuys, California has studied the problem of silicone's opacity to x-rays, which makes mammograms to detect early breast cancer very difficult. Dr. Frank B. Vassey, a rheumatologist at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, has testified before the FDA on the adverse effects of silicone on the body. Dr. Steven Weiner, chief of rheumatology at the UCLA School of Medicine, has treated about 60 women with implants who have scleroderma or other autoimmune disorders.

Defense Attorneys

Robert S. Neimann of San Francisco's Lynch, Loofbourro, Helmenstine, Gilardi and Grummer P.C., represented Surgitek, a Bristol-Meyers subsidiary, in litigation involving its polyurethane-coated breast implants. Dr. Frank Woodside of Cincinnati's Dinsmore and Shohl is coordinating Dow Corning's defense nationwide.

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