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Bristol-Myers Squibb Reaches Settlement With Australian Women Over Breast Implants

Aug 27, 2002 | AP

U.S. pharmaceutical maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has reached an out of court settlement with a group of Australian women over faulty breast implants manufactured by the company, a court heard Tuesday.

The New South Wales state Supreme Court was told that 87 women had agreed to a confidential settlement following a decade of legal action, and one other woman was still negotiating with the New York-based company.

Peter Cashman from law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman, which has been fighting breast implants cases since 1990, said the women's complaints ranged from minor cosmetic and health problems to major illnesses, including damage to their immune systems caused by the implants.

Cashman, who is forbidden by the agreement from disclosing the size of the settlement, said the company had still refused to accept that some of the medical problems claimed by some of his clients were caused by the silicone implants.

A spokesman for Bristol-Myers Squibb's Australian subsidiary said he could not comment on the settlement.

"It has been dealt with by our U.S. parent company from the start," said Michael Moore.

Cashman is also representing another 1,300 Australian women who are pursuing a decade-long case against the Australian subsidiary of another U.S. breast implant manufacturer, Dow Corning Corp.

The Dow Corning case will return to court Oct. 22.

Once the world's largest maker of silicone breast implants, Dow Corning sought bankruptcy protection in the United States in 1995 after thousands of implant recipients sued.

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