After asking four rules of appeal on various levels in this case, which arose in 2010, the Court of Cassation – the highest French court – confirmed the middle point of several judgments, which dealt with the compensation of the victims.
“The company TUV Rheinland […] did not fulfill the obligations of control, prudence and supervision in the exercise of the professional mission [y] The professional responsibility of the company TUV Rheinland France has been demonstrated,” the officials told AFP in their judgment.
The judgment further established that liability cannot be limited to the period between September 1, 2006 and before April 6, 2006, contrary to what the Paris appeals court ruled.
This limitation had led to the dismissal of lawsuits filed by hundreds of victims (mainly Colombian, Venezuelan and English) to redress.
He also delivered an annulled ruling in Versailles rejecting the compensation requested by more than 200 women living in Sweden.
The case arose in 2010, when a French regulator detected abnormal rupture of these prostheses, made by Poly Implant Prothesis (PIP), made with silicone gel not approved for medical use.
Thousands of women around the world have put on these prostheses, many of them in Latin America, and there were complaints in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela among other countries.
The death in 2019 of Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of PIP, put an end to the proceedings against the French company, but the proceedings against the German certifier, which showed no defects, continued.
equality for the victims
Olivier Aumaître, a lawyer for some 15,000 victims, satisfied the Court of Cassation with “the principle of TUV’s responsibility” and allowed “the compensation process to continue regularly for the victims”.
“This sentence will allow all victims to be given the same sentence as one,” the lawyer added in a statement.
“The big thing missing here is the PIP, they are looking for a company that validates the industrial processes (TUV), despite the fact that it is the PIP that has committed the deception”, TUV lawyer Christelle Coslin said, as “many questions” remain. completed and there are still “thousands of skill tests in progress”.
The TUV reported that before the prostheses were placed on the market and then thirteen twists were carried out on the premises between 1997 and 2010, without verification that the regulations were not complied with.
Almost a million of these defective prostheses were sold worldwide between 2001 and 2010 and it is estimated that there were some 400,000 victims, mainly in Latin America.
The Pipa Victims Association estimated that there were some 35,000 plaintiffs worldwide and stated that the German certifier could be forced to pay 500 million in cash (455 million dollars).
In February of this year, the court of appeal of Aix-en-Provence (south) sentenced TUV Rheinland to compensate thirteen women – one Colombian, two Spanish, two British and eight Venezuelan – in cash from 7,000 to 37,135. (between $7,640 and $40,535).
After the scandal, more than half of the thirty French women who had these implants asked to have them removed. Of these, 7,500 suffered unwanted effects (gel leakage, infection, inflammation…), according to the balance of health authorities in 2015.