PIP implant women 'will not pay back' compensation despite ruling

1,700 women affected by the PIP breast implant scandal will not be paying back their compensation money, despite a French court ruling that a German safety standards company was not liable for the damage caused to the victims.

Judges said that the German firm, TÜV Rheinland, which certified the implants as safe, was not at fault in 2010 as it was "absolutely impossible" for the company to have detected which implants were faulty, judges wrote. "Regular inspections did not reveal any anomalies," they added.

Instead, the blame for the faulty implants lay solely on the French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) who produced the dangerous implants given to around 300,000 women in 2010.
However, despite initial media reports that the women had been ordered to pay back the €3,400 each they had received from TÜV, Jan Spivey, a campaigner and claimant, told Newsweek that her legal team confirmed to her that there was "no mention of women having to pay back their compensation in the court ruling on Thursday and certainly no sign that TÜV was pursuing women for it".

A spokesman for TÜV did say it would "definitely ask the six distributors of the implants to pay back the total €18,000 they received" in 2013.

PIP sold breast implants from 2001 to 2010 to an estimated 300,000 women across 65 countries. They were withdrawn from the UK and other European countries after they were found to have been cheaply manufactured with industrial grade silicone and were leaking and rupturing after being implanted into women's breasts.

In 2013, Jean-Claude Mas, founder of PIP was sentenced to four years in prison for the scandal, in the same case that also ordered TÜV Rheinland to pay €5.8 million in compensation to the victims affected by the scandal. Mas declared PIP bankrupt and therefore did not pay any compensation.

Spivey, a campaigner for the PIP Action Campaign, the organisation who pushed for the case against TUV, told Newsweek that the outcome of the case on Thursday was an unfortunate setback for her organisation, but that she did not expect TÜV to pursue victims to pay back their compensation awarded in the original case in 2013.
Spivey said: "TÜV were negligent in their duties and responsibilities in the case of PIP and many women have suffered greatly as a result of the faulty implants." She cites immune system illnesses, neurological symptoms and allergies as just a few of the side effects women with the implants have experienced.

"Our claim against TÜV Rheinland was made to open the door to more women who have suffered to come forward." Adding that "women affected by the PIP scandal have been treated in an appalling way, with no help or support offered by their governments."

"The legal process has not been exhausted and women intend to fight on," she said.
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