A French court has ordered German certification firm TUV Rheinland to pay compensation to hundreds of women who were fitted with defective breast implants.
TUV awarded EU safety certificates to the French manufacturer PIP for 17 years. PIP was using sub-standard silicone gel that caused many implants to rupture.
1,700 women sued TUV for 50 million euros. A court in Toulon has ruled that the German company must make initial payment of 3,000 euros per victim to have the implants removed.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer Laurent Gaudon said of TUV: “This company certified that the implants neither compromised the health nor the safety of patients. They did so without even touching a single implant and without controls or checks. They outsourced the work to an unauthorised firm.”
TUV has condemned the ruling. The firm’s lawyer Cécile Derycke said she was “deeply shocked” by it.
Derycke told reporters: “It goes against the elements of the dossier, it contradicts the request of the Toulon prosecutor himself, and it goes against what the investigators in Marseille have said, who – after a 2-year investigation – concluded that TUV was a victim of fraud by PIP.”
Formerly one of the world’s leading suppliers of breast implants, PIP was shut down in 2010 amid a worldwide health scare over the faulty gel.
The firm’s founder Jean-Claude Mas is on trial for aggravated fraud, along with four of his executives. A ruling is expected in December.
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