German product standards and safety testing giant TÜV Rheinland was found guilty of negligence this week after the German firm erred when awarding safety certificates for breast implants.
A French appeals court said 2,700 victims are due compensation after TUV had certified the implants from the now-liquidated French company PIP as safe, even though the material used went on to cause health problems.
The regulator was guilty of negligence in the performance of its duties and obligations in the monitoring of the quality system, the court ruled.
The decision of the appeals court, however, might be contested once more, meaning the case would go to a higher court.
The scandal surfaced in 2010 after doctors noticed abnormally high rupture rates in women with implants produced by the French firm Poly Implant Prothese (PIP). Its implants were used in hundreds of thousands of women worldwide.
It's clearly a historical day for PIP breast implant victims all over the world and for women's rights,'' Olivier Aumaitre, the lawyer representing the 2,700 women who brought this latest case, told reporters.
The decision of the Paris court might help many other victims, Aumaitre said, although the lawyer conceded he was not aware of other compensation wins in other countries.
TÜV lawyer Christelle Coslin told AP that the German company denies all responsibility. The missing link here is the actual liable party, which is not solvent.”
PIP was liquidated in 2010 and its founder, Jean-Claude Mas, was later given a four-year jail term. Mas died in 2019.