DENVER — A former topless dancer who blames her crippling fatigue and joint pain on leaking silicone gel breast implants lost a $7-million lawsuit against manufacturer Dow Corning Corp.
The woman, Tammy Turner McCartney, said Friday that she will appeal.
The verdict Thursday was the first victory for Dow Corning since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year banned the sale of silicone gel breast implants for all but medical reasons. About 5,400 cases are pending against the company, which no longer markets the implants.
Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before reaching their finding that McCartney had failed to prove her case against Dow Corning and plastic surgeon Stephen Goldstein.
"I was hurt they didn't give me the consideration of looking at the evidence. They didn't give me anything. . . . I know I was right. I know I didn't do anything wrong," McCartney said.
Dow Corning's lawyers focused at times on McCartney's past, and some jurors said the tactic influenced their decision. McCartney, 30, had an abortion, gave a child up for adoption and is considering reconstructive surgery for her nose.
The Dow Corning attorneys also contended that there was no scientifically established link between the release of silicone in women's breasts and symptoms of the autoimmune disorder that McCartney says she suffers.
Dow Corning lawyer David Bernick said Friday that the victory set a precedent because it was based on science, not hysteria. He said he hopes it will discourage women from filing similar lawsuits and assuage fears of other women that the implants are unsafe.
But McCartney's lawyer, Jo Stone, contended that Dow's case was tried on "character assassination, not facts."
Two of the six jurors, Gunda Nienke, 71, and Elizabeth Sturns, 76, said they were influenced by aspects of McCartney's past.
"She lied too much," said Nienke, who added that she didn't believe that leaking implants caused McCartney's disabling fatigue. "How can she go dancing for seven years and then want to do something about it?"
Jury foreman Chuck Vandevander, 30, a law student, said the jury "basically didn't believe the silicone caused her health problems."