French court says TUV Rhineland must compensate for faulty PIP breast implants

In January this year, a French court has ordered German regulator TUV Rhineland to pay 60 million euros (US$65 million) in compensation to 20,000 women who received defective breast implants that it had approved.

The administrative court in the southern French city of Toulon ordered TUV to pay 3,000 euros ($3,200) to each plaintiff in a giant class action case concerning 20,000 victims across 14 countries, a justice official said.

The court ordered TUV to make a provisional payment to each plaintiff for certifying that the implants made by the French firm Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) met safety standards.

The scandal first came to public view in 2011, a year after doctors first noticed abnormally high rupture rates in the implants. Some 300,000 women in 65 countries, most in Latin America, are believed to have received the faulty implants.

The French company at the heart of the scandal, PIP, sold implants globally over almost two decades until investigators discovered it was passing off low-grade industrial silicone as a much pricier medical product.

The counterfeit substance was used in implants given to some 300,000 women. About one-quarter of those subsequently removed were found to have ruptured, regulators said, raising concerns over the long-term health effects of exposure to their contents.

Company founder Jean-Claude Mas was jailed for four years and fined 75,000 euros ($83,000) last year after a police investigation revealed a sophisticated fraud.

Other complaints have been filed against TUV.

A previous ruling in which the same Toulon administrative court ordered TUV to compensate 1,700 victims was overturned by another court in a case that is still winding its way through the justice system.

Source: reuters.com (Health News)