Lap-Band System Device Maker Allergan Gets Gov’t. Subpoena Following Patient Deaths and Allegations of Negligent Marketing By 1-800-GET-THIN

The US Department of Health and Human Services has sent Allergan Inc. a subpoena requesting documents related to the Lap-Band System. This medical device, which has been approved to help people who are obese lose weight, has come under fire over reports that it has been involved in a number of patient deaths. There are lingering questions not only about the safety of this medical device but whether it has been poorly marketed to consumers.

In Massachusetts, if you believe that your injuries, health complications, or the death of a loved one were a result of a Lap-Band procedure gone awry, problems with the implant after its insertion, or having received inadequate information about the possible risks and complications involved from using this device, our Boston injury lawyers want to hear from you.

The lap band, which is inflatable, is surgically inserted into the stomach and can be loosened or tightened to either increase or reduce stomach capacity. Some of the problems linked to lap-bands:

• The lap band may slip from its designated placement in the stomach. If the band gets pushed down, this may create a barrier that can make it hard for food to pass through. Emergency surgery may be required.

• Lap band erosion. This may cause the body try to get rid of it. Surgery to remove the medical device may be necessary.

• Lap band breakage or deflation
• Port issues
• Other surgical or device complications
Earlier this year, Allergan announced that it would no longer sell the Lap-Band system to clinics affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN, a marketing company that has gotten a lot of people interested in this device (especially in Southern California where so many people feel the pressure to be thin). 1-800-GET-THIN had been engaged in aggressive TV, Internet, radio, and billboard campaigns promoting the Lap-Band procedure as a great way to lose weight.

However, in the wake of the fatalities, the US Food and Drug Administration has taken action against 1-800-Get-Thin and eight surgical centers for allegedly misleading ads that failed to warn about potential side effects and other dangers. There also have been allegations from former employees of some of these surgical centers claiming that the Lap-Band procedure was performed on some patients who didn’t need it.

You may have a Boston products liability lawsuit on your hands.

Allergan Gets Subpoena From Government Over Lap-Band System, The Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2012

FDA issues Warning Letters for misleading advertising of Lap-Band
, FDA, December 13, 2011

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Pradaxa Lawsuit Claims Drug’s Side Effects Caused Woman to Bleed to Death, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, April 30, 2012

Another Boston Injury Lawsuit Blames DES Drug for Causing Newton Woman’s Breast Cancer, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 30, 2012
Contact Altman & Altman, LLP to speak with one of our Massachusetts lap band lawyers.

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