The year Judith Lépine turned 19, she says, was one of the most difficult of her life.
“I’m telling you [now] I want to live,” she said, weeping. “I’m 25, I am not dead.”
But in her late teens, she thought of giving up. The reason, she says, was suffering as a result of breast implants.
When she was 16 years old, she had textured breast implants to correct breast asymmetry. The surgeon, she says, told her and her parents at the time that they were safe.
“I developed so many, so many health problems,” Lépine said.
For nine years, she suffered from a range of illnesses, from bouts of depression to excruciating pain. But she says her doctor didn’t take her seriously.
“When I went to see him, he would say it’s all in your head,” she said.
WATCH: Canadian woman warns about risks of breast implants
It wasn’t until June 2018 that she discovered the problem was likely connected to the implants. She had them removed and it was confirmed they had ruptured.
Several women have had similar experiences. That’s why two Montreal law firms, LPC Avocats, and Tiger Banon Inc., have filed a class-action lawsuit.
“The defendants in this case are Allergan, Mentor and Ideal Implants,” explained Joey Zukran of LPC Avocats.
The companies, he argues, violated Quebec consumer laws by not informing consumers of the risks involved in using textured implants.
“Firstly, the serious risk of cancer, number one,” Zukran said, detailing the risks, “and number two, the fact that these textured implants have an increased risk of rupturing.”
Since filing the petition for the lawsuit a few days ago, he adds, numerous women have come forward. Among other things, the lawyers are suing for the cost of the implants, which can cost up to $10,000, Zukran says.
Coincidentally, Lépine had her implants removed December 18th — the same day the the Allergan implants were banned in Europe. She still has health problems and wants women everywhere to understand the risks.
“I plan to advocate for this for the rest of my life,” she said, wiping tears.
On its website, Allergan says, “Patient safety is Allergan’s highest priority and we continue to collaborate with clinicians, societies and global health authorities to advance research, understanding and awareness about breast implant effectiveness and safety.”
LPC Avocats is inviting women who believe they may have been affected by implants from any one of the three manufacturers, to register.