Silicone Injection Victims Snubbed

Elaine Young, who had silicone injections in her face.
Sonja Anthony can hardly walk these days but back in the 1960s she was the picture of vitality - a striking Los Angeles model. To stay in high demand, she had her slightly imperfect legs altered with silicone shots.

"I wanted perfect legs to be perfectly honest," she says. "They called it sculpturing.

"It was just a thick liquid that was injected under the skin."

As CBS News Correspondent Thalia Assuras reports, her problems, including tumor-like growths in her legs, started in 1979. Over the next 20 years Anthony had eight operations. She now lives on disability and faces a possible leg amputation.

Anthony blames her health problems, from strokes to seizures, on the silicone, and one of its manufacturers, Dow Corning. She filled out forms to join a court case against the company, while it was in bankruptcy.

In her description she said her thighs had been injected.

Anthony's claim was accepted in 1999. But suddenly, two months ago, she received a letter telling her that since her silicone was injected, she would not be compensated.

Anthony is not alone. Thousands of claimants have received letters telling them they will not be getting any money.

Elaine Young is a Beverly Hills realtor to the stars.

More than 30 years ago, she wanted those Hollywood-high cheekbones, so she got silicone injections.

She says the silicone disfigured her face and forced her to have dozens of operations.

She says she's paralyzed on the left side of her face and her eye twitches.

Now, she, too, has been told she's out.

"I didn't believe it," she says. "I thought it was a joke."

Sybil Goldrich helped negotiate the settlement with Dow Corning. She says no one should have been surprised by the letters and that they were in fact courtesy reminders.

"From the very beginning, silicone injections were not covered because it is not possible to identify who was the manufacturer of the silicone that was injected," says Goldrich.

Sonia Anthony maintains she was not told and for years received letters updating her on the case.

Asked why no one told her, she says, "because they're crooks."

Dow Corning says it would have been too costly to sort through every claim so everyone was given a claim number and kept informed of every detail. Six years later though, Anthony is back to square one. She is suing Dow Corning, this time on her own and wondering how she and thousands of others who received injections could have been so wrong.