PIP breast prostheses: the TÜV Rheinland certifier must compensate 1,600 new complainants

Already ordered to compensate thousands of victims, TÜV Rheinland, the German certifier of defective PIP breast prostheses, was sentenced, Thursday, January 13, in France to compensate 1,600 new plaintiffs of twenty-three nationalities, for a total of at least 8 million euros, announced the association of victims PIPA.

These plaintiffs claimed 6,000 euros in provision for the damage suffered before the commercial court. They obtained 5,000 euros, much more than the 3,000 euros in provision allocated to the first victims.

TÜV is “fully liable without limitation or restriction and must promptly compensate all victims without exception”, reacted Olivier Aumaître, PIPA’s lawyer. In a press release, the certifier, who should appeal, on the other hand “firmly contested this judgment in that it held the notified body liable”.

More than ten years after the discovery of the fraud of the Var manufacturer of breast prostheses founded by Jean-Claude Mas, whose death in 2019 put an end to the proceedings, legal proceedings continue against the German certifier, who had never found any shortcomings.

This scandal erupted following an inspection by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products in March 2010. It had noted an abnormal rate of rupture of the implants which were filled, for the sake of economy, with a non-conforming craft gel in place of the required silicone gel.

Series of court decisions

This new decision adds to the cascade of legal decisions in this case, close to its epilogue. The Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal confirmed in February 2021 the judgment of the Toulon Commercial Court of January 2017 which ordered the German certifier to pay 3,000 euros to around 20,000 other plaintiffs. The Court of Appeal had nevertheless estimated that some 6,000 of them were ultimately inadmissible.

At the end of May, the Paris Court of Appeal had also confirmed TÜV’s liability in another aspect, however restricting this liability to the period from 1is September 2006 to April 6, 2010, thus invalidating the requests of several hundred women out of the 2,500 concerned, Colombian, Venezuelan or English in particular.

Conversely, two other courts of appeal, in Versailles and Poitiers, cleared TÜV Rheinland. The German company appealed to the Court of Cassation for the Aix and Paris decisions. “There were four Court of Appeal decisions in 2021: two fully favorable, one fully unfavorable, in Aix, and one mixed, in Paris. Today, there are several cases before the Court of Cassation and we hope that it will shed some light to guide the judges. on this file, reacted Christelle Coslin, lawyer for TÜV, questioned by AFP.

It is estimated that 400,000 women worldwide have PIP implants.

TÜV Rheinland, a major specialist in product certification, employs 20,000 people worldwide for a turnover of approximately 2 billion euros.

Read also PIP breast prostheses: the TÜV certifier found guilty by the Paris Court of Appeal

The World with AFP

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PIP breast prostheses: the TÜV Rheinland certifier must compensate 1,600 new complainants