Disappointing news was received this month when more than 1,000 women worldwide who received compensation following the PIP breast implant scandal in 2010 were ordered by a French appeals Court to pay back the money.
The court ruled that German product-testing firm Technischer Überwachungs-Verein (TUV), that was sued as a result of the issue, was not liable for the faulty products.
It is estimated that more than 100 British women have suffered complicated health problems due to the faulty implants leaking industrial-grade silicon into their bodies. An interim payment was paid to those women in 2013 of £2,500, pending a full assessment of their condition. However, news now indicates they will have to pay it back.
Jan Spivey, one of the British women who sued TUV, stated, “It’s so cruel to put this pressure on us after what we’ve been through. We have received no help or support from anyone. We’ve just been abandoned and we have had to fight every step of the way.”
The French appeals court said the firm had “committed no error engaging their criminal responsibility” in certifying the implants as safe while they were later found to be faulty. TUV maintains its job was not to test the actual implants as they were only tasked with inspecting the manufacturing process.
The news once again highlights the need for regulation of the cosmetic interventions industry to be taken much more seriously, in the light of another PIP Breast Implants scandal occurring, our concern is where the chain of liability will fall to ensure the consumer is protected.
The Story So Far
Fears spread globally in 2011 when it emerged that PIP breast implants had been manufactured with industrial grade silicone that was prone to rupture
The implants were manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prostheses, the founder of which was jailed in 2013 for four years for aggravated fraud
French health data revealed that the rupture rate of the implants could be as high as 25%
The implants were implicated in several deaths due to toxicity and were also linked to several cases of breast cancer – although a link has not been proven
Around 50,000 women in the UK were fitted with PIP implants, but shoddy record keeping by some cosmetic surgery providers has resulted in some women not knowing which implants they have
The NHS and some cosmetic surgery clinics have pledged to remove PIP implants for free but as yet the vast majority of women have not undergone removal surgery, many women have been forced to pay further surgery costs to rectify the faulty devices
Thousands of British women are currently fighting for compensation after being given the faulty implants, some women are still not aware that they may be eligible for credit card refunds and need to contact their legal advisors for further information
The scandal resulted in a government recommendation for a register logging every breast implant operation carried out in England, but concerns remain that not enough safeguards are in place to prevent a similar situation occurring again.
It is our belief as a campaign that not enough has been learnt following PIP. Professional organisations have been keen to see a mandatory implant register established but this hasn’t happened, and if things go wrong in future, as things stand now, people could face confusion as to who to turn to – the manufacturer, hospital or surgeon.