German firm on trial over faulty French breast implants

Proceedings against a German safety standards firm that gave defective breast implants the all clear kicked off Friday in France, with millions of euros claimed in damages.

TUV Rheinland had certified that implants made by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) conformed to European safety rules, but the French firm shut in 2010 after it was found to have used substandard, industrial-grade that caused abnormally high implant rupture rates.

More than 400,000 around the world are thought to have received implants made by PIP.

TUV Rheinland is being sued by six PIP distributors from Bulgaria, Brazil, Italy, Syria, Mexico and Romania for 28 million euros ($36 million).

In addition, more than 16,000 women with PIP implants are suing the firm for 16,000 euros in damages each. They are mainly from South America.

Experts disagree over the potential health risks involved, and as the trial opened in a court in the southern French city of Toulon, the prosecution and defence squabbled over whether the court had the jurisdiction to hear the case.

Lawyers for TUV said the trial should be held in Germany or Paris—where TUV Rheinland France is based—or in the countries of the women filing suits and questioned the credibility of the women involved.

"What is the proof that they really have ?" said TUV lawyer Cecile Derycke.

The substandard gel was in 75 percent of PIP , saving the company about one million euros ($1.3 million) annually, according to an ex-company executive.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dutch women reimbursed for breast implant removals

Jan 26, 2012

Dutch women wanting to replace potentially defective breast implants made by now-defunct French company PIP will be paid back in full, the Dutch health insurance federation said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

Aug 26, 2014

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

Ukraine's former world's tallest man dies

Aug 25, 2014

Ukraine's tallest man, who briefly held the world record but gave it up to live as a recluse, has died due to complications from the condition that saw him never stop growing, local media reported Monday.

User comments