Terrell Hogan attorneys Chris Shakib and Leslie Goller filed lawsuits today in Duval County Circuit Court on behalf of three patients against Loren Z. Clayman, M.D., alleging medical malpractice and fraudulent misrepresentation that defective implants caused failed surgeries and post-surgical complications instead of the real reason: substandard surgeries. The suits also accuse the doctor and Allergan, Inc. the manufacturer of the saline implants, of conspiracy to commit fraud in a warranty scheme. These suits are in addition to nine recently filed lawsuits against Loren Z. Clayman, M.D., Mark A. Clayman, M.D., and Allergan Inc. that made the same allegations.
“The Claymans repeatedly operated on women to make more money, and skipped doing lifts or reductions in favor of surgery that took less time and skill,” said Chris Shakib. “They harmed patients and repeatedly lied to them saying the surgical outcomes were caused by defective implants to cover up their bad surgeries. Many times, they even blamed the patients, telling them their bodies rejected the implants and put them at risk for further surgical and anesthesia complications.”
Assembly Line Approach
The suits contend the Claymans used a “one-size-fits-all” assembly line approach of using large, grossly overfilled high profile saline implants that did not match patients’ anatomies without accompanying lift or reduction procedures, which take time. The firm’s investigation shows many patients’ surgeries took 30 minutes or less. As a result, they had uneven, over-sized, sagging or hard breasts. They also experienced complications including pain, scarring, overstretched skin, loss of breast tissue, nerve damage, milk duct damage and infection. Each client either needs or has had corrective surgery.
Questionable Warranty Claims
The suits allege the Claymans made 5,516 warranty claims to Allergan in a 15-year period for pairs of Natrelle Saline implants, netting $8.96 million in reimbursements from Allergan, Inc. The doctors claimed the implants either spontaneously deflated or ruptured. “With Allergan’s implant follow-up studies showing deflation rates of 2.7%-6.8% at five years and 10%-13.8 % at 10 years, averaging 1.2% per year, 5,516 warranty claims is statistically impossible,” Shakib said.
In addition, pre-operative photography of all the patients demonstrate that there were no deflations. Lab results show Allergan, Inc. performed tests on each returned pair of implants, concluding the overwhelming majority did not support deflations or ruptures. Despite those findings, documents show Allergan, Inc. paid every one of the Claymans’ fraudulent warranty claims, reimbursing the doctors $1,200 to $2,400 for each replacement surgery, according the suits.
The suits allege Allergan, Inc. aided and abetted the doctors in fraud by continuing to sell them implants and paying fraudulent warranty claims, and that the company should have stopped selling to the Claymans and reported them to the authorities.
According to the suits, patients were attracted to the low price of $3,750 for breast implant surgery; the doctors did not adequately photograph or document patients’ medical care, did not take appropriate measurements or present implant options. Everyone received the same make and style saline implants.
The lawsuits contend the Claymans cut costs by using unsanitary methods to inflate the implants. As a result, a number of patients had infections; some even had mold growing in their implants. One patient was hospitalized in isolation for a week with a highly contagious infection after undergoing her sixth breast surgery.
The suits allege the doctors also cut costs by using inappropriate anesthesia instead of general anesthesia. They used Ketamine, which is most commonly used in veterinary surgeries. It is known for causing hallucinations which the Claymans’ patients described as “psychedelic roller coasters of death.” Most patients reported waking up during at least one surgery with some experiencing a “pulling and tugging” sensation; others experienced searing pain from cutting and suturing. The suits further allege that the inadequate anesthesia resulted in improper placement of breast implants during surgeries. Ketamine is cheaper because the surgeon does not have to hire an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist.
To date, 16 suits were filed on behalf of patients. Terrell Hogan is representing 193 of the Claymans’ patients.