French Court Rules Compensation for PIP Breast Implant Victims

More than 2,500 victims of defective breast implants manufactured in France should receive compensation, a Paris appeals court ruled on Thursday. 

The court upheld an earlier judgement which found German company, TUV Rheinland, negligent in awarding safety certificates for the faulty PIP breast implants. 

Jan Spivey, one of the women involved in the case, was given PIP implants after she had a mastectomy due to breast cancer.

After hearing the decision, she said she was “elated and exhausted.” 

“We’ve been in and out of court, and that’s been really difficult for women. We’ve got health issues and we’ve got lots of other responsibilities too — PIP has had an impact on our whole lives,” She said. “It’s been an inescapable issue.” 

After receiving the implants, Jan developed aching joints, pain and fatigue. Once they were removed, it was clear the implants had been leaking silicone into her body. 

“My PIP implants from 20 years ago are still impacting on my life and my health and my wellbeing, even today,” Jan said. “I think I’ve been angry every single day for the 20 years I’ve been affected by PIP.” 

Plastic surgeons supported the setting up of a breast implant registry to improve patient safety. They also advise patients to consult their surgeon if they become concerned about symptoms relating to their implants and to read all reliable sources of information prior to undergoing a breast implant surgery. 

Between 2001 and 2010, the faulty implants were manufactured by the French company, Poly Implant Prothèse, or PIP. The company was liquidated in 2010 and its founder was later given a prison sentence after reports surfaced of the implants being filled with cheap, industrial-grade silicone which had not been cleared for human use. 

It is estimated up to 400,000 people worldwide have received the substandard implants. 

Olivier Aumaître, the lawyer representing Jan Spivey and 2,700 others involved with the case, said it was a history day for the victims and for women’s rights. He confirmed the company must now fully compensate all the victims. 

“I’m very happy for all the women I represent who have waited for such a long time for this decision and suffered for such long periods,” he said. 

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