Florida Women Who Sued Doctor Now Focusing On Implant Maker
A Jacksonville plastic surgeon accused by hundreds of women of botching their surgeries has settled the bulk of their lawsuits and the women's lawyers have shifted their focus to the breast-implant manufacturer they say profited from the misfortune.
The Times-Union reports Loren Clayman first came under scrutiny when three women filed lawsuits against him in 2015.
The women said Clayman's surgeries left them disfigured and in pain. Clayman, who emphasizes inexpensive procedures in his advertisements, performed subsequent surgeries for the three women for free, covering them with a product warranty from Allergan, the breast-implant manufacturer.
After The Florida Times-Union wrote about those three women, the newspaper heard from dozens more; and the women's attorney, Chris Shakib, eventually gathered hundreds of cases with similar allegations.
An attorney for Clayman said he couldn't comment, and Shakib said he couldn't discuss the settlements or the ongoing federal lawsuits. Fred Tromberg, another attorney who represented more than a dozen other women with similar claims, said his cases are "amicably resolved."
Now Shakib has filed dozens of federal lawsuits aimed at Allergan, accusing the company of fraud.
Allergan did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the lawsuit, Allergan implants' deflation rate is about 1.2 percent per year after the surgery. But Clayman and his plastic surgeon son, Mark Clayman, "began making a higher than average number of warranty claims," the lawsuit said.
"Loren Z. Clayman and Clayman PA had engaged in a scheme with Allergan, the manufacturer of the saline implants, that they could claim a defect in the saline implants and replace them for their direct financial benefit when no such defect existed. Moreover, Loren Clayman would claim defect of the saline implants and replace them in order to cover up his inadequate surgical skills or haste in performing surgeries on his patients."
The lawsuits say Clayman lied about deflated implants so that the company would reimburse him for follow-up surgeries. In some cases, Clayman performed five or more surgeries on a single woman. Yet Allergan's own laboratory analyses, the lawsuits say, found that the implants had not actually deflated.
Shakib has previously said he told his clients to file complaints with the Florida Department of Health. So far the Department of Health hasn't made public any complaints against Clayman, indicating those complaints have not been referred to the department's prosecution services unit.
Some of the women found black mold in their implants, Shakib said. Some said the surgeries left them with stabbing pains. Most of them said the surgeries left their breasts hardened, misshapen and uneven. They also say they were given ketamine, a tranquilizer, as a sedative — the Claymans didn't use an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist, according to medical records — and subsequently hallucinated or woke up during the surgeries.
Three times in the 1980s, the Florida Department of Health found violations against Clayman, including one operation in which he left a surgical sponge inside a patient. The two other times he didn't keep proper records of medications. Because complaints are confidential unless the Health Department finds probable cause, it's unknown how many times women have filed complaints against Clayman.
The women who filed suit against Clayman said he enlarged their breasts even when they asked for reductions, that he used unsanitary practices and that he relied on ketamine instead of proper anesthesia. When the pain from the surgery didn't subside, they said, Clayman told them the Allergan breast implant had deflated.
Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com