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PIP breast implant case: a victory for hundreds of thousands of women around the world

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  • The Paris Court of Appeal today confirmed́ the responsibilitý of the certifier TUV Rheinland in the PIP implants case.
  • This decision marks the victory of the PIPA association and paves the way for full compensation for victims.
  • Several tens of thousands of euros per victim are requested by PIPA’s lawyer for their compensation. A first judgment is expected on 16 September 2021.

The companý founded by Jean-Claude Mas marketed breast implants filled with industrial silicone for 10 years. The certification issued by the German group TUV Rheinland allowed PIP to affix the CE mark to the adulterated products and thus market them worldwide.

Olivier Aumaître, lawyer for 20,000 victims and defender of the international PIPA association that initiated this procedure, known as TUV1, said: “We are delighted with this outcome, which puts a definitive end to doubts about TUV’s responsibility. After 10 years of waiting and hard fighting, the German certifier will have to compensate the victims in full. »

For him “it’s the end of the game after extra time and there will be no return match or rematch possible”. Today’s ruling comes after a very long journey: condemnation of TUV by the Toulon Commercial Court in 2013, reversal of this condemnation by the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal in 2015, annulment of this reversal by the Court of Cassation in 2018, which had then referred́ the case to the Paris Court of Appeal.

This decision is based on a damning case against the certifier (see our full summary here)

The compensation phase can finally begin

For Mr Aumaître, “With today’s decision, the question is no longer whether TUV will have to compensate the victims, but when and how much. And the bill is going to be particularly heavy, not only because of the number of victims and the damage linked to the PIP implants. The high amount is also due to the wait that TUV made the victims endure, showing constant contempt for these women. The lost time highly aggravated the consequences for their health”. In this new phase, an expert assessment will resume in order to evaluate the damages individually. They are often heavy, especially as they have worsened over time. The medical experts mandated by the Commercial Court of Toulon have thus noted that every PIP patient lives in a state of permanent anxietý. More than half of the victims have suffered a rupture of their implants. Even without rupture, the silicone spreads in the body. It then forms lumps, which very often lead to inflammation. This is called a siliconoma. They are most often located in the lymph nodes but can also reach the lungs or other organs. 30% of victims are affected. This is why the amounts should reach several tens of thousands of euros. The sums requested by Olivier Aumaître for a first group of patients range from 20,000 to 70,000 euros (judgment expected on 16 September). Each victim can evaluate the compensation he or she is likely to obtain thanks to the PIPA calculator. It is based on the principles of evaluation used by legal experts and on the case law of the Dintilhac nomenclature used by most courts for the evaluation of personal injuries.

This calculator is available to all here

In addition, new items of damage could be added. The association representing the victims believes that an epidemiological study should be carried out on PIP patients because consequences that have been minimised until now could be revealed. For example, it is striking to note the high incidence of autistic disorders in children breastfed with TUV-certified silicone.

As the statute of limitations for personal injury is 10 years from the end of the suffering, patients who have not yet applied for compensation may still be entitled to it. They can join the TUV 5 procedure, which is already in progress. To do so, they just need to register on the PIPA website now and before 30 June 2021:

According to Mr Aumaître, “A last stand of honour is to be expected from TUV on the procedural level, but today’s ruling marks the end of the case on TUV’s liability, and it would be in TUV’s interest, if only for its image, to finally admit defeat and capitulate with dignity.”

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