3 breast implant patients sue plastic surgeons

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville plastic surgeon is fighting malpractice lawsuits from three women unhappy with their breast augmentation procedures. The claims are against Dr Loren Clayman as well as the Riverside Plastic Surgery Clinic.

The women said they suffered poorly done breast implant procedures and numerous attempts to fix the problems. While the subsequent surgeries were done for free, the women claim the clinic still found a way to make a profit. But Clayman's office is saying the women's legal complaints won't hold up and has asked the court to dismiss them.

One of the lawsuits claims the doctor harmed the woman, "by repeatedly and/or excessively operating … while claiming that her implants had deflated, which placed her at an increased risk for surgical and anesthetic complications." The women said the doctor would do the follow up surgeries for free -- blaming the manufacturer of the implants for the problem -- and would bill the manufacturer for the surgery by citing the implant's warranty.

DOCUMENTS: Ashley Gainey vs. Drs. Claymen | Amber Thigpen vs. Drs. Claymen | Amber Fuentes vs.. Drs. Claymen

"The care he provided was below the standard of care," said attorney Chris Shakib of the Terrell Hogan Law Firm. "(He) just cut them open, installed an implant with saline in it, and all three of them had major complications afterward."

News4Jax contacted the surgical clinic and a woman who identified herself as Elana Clayman, the officer manager, would only answer questions by phone.

She claimed the case has no merit, then cited federal patient privacy laws for not being able to answer specific problems.

"The story is nothing; it's no merit, nothing. Zero. I know so much I wish I could tell you to help you," she said, adding, "I am questioning your academic ability right now because you asked me a very serious question.  You asked me to break the rules of HIPAA. Nobody does that.  Why would you ask me that?"

News4Jax legal counsel said the office does have the right to discuss the case publicly and defend itself. HIPAA only covers specific medical details that must be kept private.

The information would become public if the women's complaints make it to trial.

"I believe that the evidence is very strong. Not for each individual case by, but then when you put them all together, the facts are so similar for each of these three women," Shakib said. "You know I've heard stories from a number of other women, and I expect to hear from quite a few more."

Under Florida law, if the doctors were to lose all three lawsuits, they would lose their licenses to practice medicine.

Sean Cronin, another medical malpractice lawyer not related to this case, said that's very unlikely. He said seldom do malpractice cases make it to trial because usually are settled in some fashion before reaching a courtroom.

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