Ten years after the scandal about inferior breast implants, a court of appeal in France has issued a new judgment: TÜV Rheinland shares responsibility because it declared the prostheses to be harmless.
TAfter years of fighting over damages for defective breast implants, thousands of women can now hope for compensation. The appellate court in Paris ordered the TÜV Rheinland, which had certified the implants of the company Poly Implant (PIP), to pay damages. The TÜV acted negligently, the court justified its judgment on Thursday. According to the victims’ association PIPA, the amount and time of the compensation have yet to be determined. PIPA announced that damages of tens of thousands of euros per victim had been requested. A decision is expected in September.
“We are happy about this result, which finally puts an end to the doubts about the responsibility of the TÜV”, said victim lawyer Olivier Aumaitrer. “After ten years of waiting and fierce fighting, the German certifier must fully compensate the victims.” The verdict could affect tens of thousands more victims from Great Britain to Latin America. TÜV Rheinland initially did not want to comment on the judgment. A spokesman referred to a later point in time when the judgment was translated for evaluation. 2,700 women had brought the case to court.
From 2001 to 2010, more than 300,000 women received the defective implants, which were filled with industrial silicone. According to investigators, the French manufacturer PIP saved 1.2 million euros in one year alone. The implants showed an above-average number of cracks, and there was no evidence of a higher incidence of breast cancer. Around 15,000 women had the operations reversed in France alone.
In 2013, a court in Toulon in the south of France ordered TÜV Rheinland to pay damages. Each injured party should receive 3000 euros. The TÜV appealed at the time. In another trial, the head of PIP, Jean-Claude Mas, and four high-ranking managers had to answer for the scandal in court. Mas was sentenced to four years in prison for fraud. In proceedings before the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) four years ago, a plaintiff from Rhineland-Palatinate lost her claim for damages against TÜV Rheinland. At that time, the BGH had not found any breaches of duty