Vassallo v. Baxter Healthcare Corp.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
696 N.E.2d 909 (Mass. 1998)
In February 1977, Florence Vassallo (plaintiff) underwent breast implantation surgery. She received silicone gel implants manufactured by Heyer-Schulte Corporation in 1976. Through a series of corporate transactions, Baxter Healthcare Corp. (Baxter Healthcare) and Baxter International, Inc. (Baxter International) (defendants) assumed responsibility for breast implant products manufactured by Heyer-Schulte. In 1992, Vassallo had a mammogram after complaining of severe chest pain. The mammogram revealed that her left breast implant had ruptured, and her right implant contained small holes through which silicone gel was leaking. Vassallo received permanent tissue scarring, chronic inflammation, and problems with her immune system due to the silicone gel leakage. She and her husband brought suit against Baxter Healthcare and Baxter International. She stated that had she known of the risks associated with gel leakage, she would not have had the procedure. Additionally, evidence was introduced at trial showing that Heyer-Schulte knew of the risks associated with leakage of implants at the time they were received by Vassallo, and did not inform her of these risks. The jury found the defendants had actual or constructive knowledge of the risks of breast implants at the time they were given to Vassallo, and also found the defendants liable for negligence. Baxter Healthcare and Baxter International appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Greany, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.