German firm on trial over faulty French breast implants

March 22, 2013

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.

Explore further: Belgium advises women to have PIP breast implants removed

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Belgium advises women to have PIP breast implants removed

February 1, 2012
Belgium's health authorities on Wednesday advised women with defective breast implants made by French firm PIP to have them removed.

Dutch call for examination of PIP implants done before 2001

March 15, 2012
Dutch health authorities on Thursday recommended new tests for women with breast implants manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothese that were done before 2001.

Dutch women reimbursed for breast implant removals

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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.

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French health authorities said Monday that nearly 8,000 French women had followed a government recommendation to have faulty breast implants that sparked a global health scare removed.

7,000 more women in Britain received suspect implants

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Around 7,000 more women than first thought in Britain have received potentially faulty PIP breast implants, the government said on Thursday.

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Brazil said Wednesday it has temporarily suspended the import of breast implants pending quality control tests in the wake of last December's health scare over defective French-made implants.

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