After more than a decade of waiting and fighting, justice is closer than ever to women affected by the PIP scandal. The German company TÜV Rheinland has to pay compensation to approximately 2,700 victims of these defective breast implants. The court has ruled the company guilty of approving faulty implants from the French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP). A memorable moment for the members of the PIP Action Campaign, with which Hair Diagnostix recently started a collaboration.
Between 2001 and 2010 the substandard implants were manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prothèse or PIP. The implants were filled with cheap, industrial-grade silicone which was not cleared for human use. This created an increased risk of complications such as ruptures, gel bleeds and “sweating”. About 400,000 women in 65 countries have been affected. More than half of the victims have their implants ruptured, causing the silicone to spread throughout the body and cause inflammation.
PIP Action Campaign
PIP Action Campaign is an active campaign group with the aim: justice for everyone affected by the international PIP scandal. Hair Diagnostix recently started a research with the PIP Action Campaign, in which (former) PIP-implant wearing women gain insight into the platinum levels in their body through an advanced hair test. With the so-called Platinum Screen, platinum, a by-product in the production of silicone gel, can be detected.
Jan Spivey (Co-founder PIP Action Campaign), was given PIP implants after she had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. After hearing the decision, she said she was “elated and exhausted”. “It’s been a very long journey,” she said. “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 the whole of our lives. “It’s been an inescapable issue.”
Jan developed aching joints, pain and fatigue after having the implants, and once they were removed it was clear they 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.”
‘Einde oefening’ voor TÜV Rheinland
After the scandal was revealed, the PIP company quickly went bankrupt and founder Jean-Claude Mas was sentenced to four years in prison. TÜV Rheinland issued safety certificates for the product. Initially, in 2013, the Toulon court ordered TÜV to pay damages to the 2,700 French women. But the Court of Appeal in Aix-en-Provence reversed that decision in 2015, despite the many evidence. However, three years later, the Supreme Court decided that the case should be re-assessed by the Paris Court of Appeal. Now the women are finally in the right after all. A total of 25,000 women from fourteen countries are conducting five procedures against TÜV. An organization of victims says that tens of thousands of euros have been requested for compensation on a case-by-case basis. It is still unclear whether the victims will receive this. A ruling on this is expected in September.
According to lawyer Aumaître, it is “end of exercise” for TÜV Rheinland. “No resit is possible. With today’s decision, the question is no longer whether TÜV should compensate the victims, but when and how much.” TÜV can expect a hefty bill, according to the lawyer. “Not only because of the number of victims and the damage from the PIP implants. The high amount is also because TÜV kept the victims waiting for a long time and showed constant contempt for these women. The lost time greatly exacerbated the consequences for their health. ”