A legal ruling made in France today has opened the way to millions of euros in compensation for British and other women who were fitted with defective French-made breast implants.
An appeal court in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France ruled that a giant German safety company which certified the substandard silicon implants should pay immediate compensation of €3,000 each to over 1,600 women, including about 100 from Britain.
The interim compensation awards were first made by another French court in November, but the German company TÜV Rheinland, which specialises in safety standards, appealed.
The full appeal will be considered later, but yesterday’s ruling means that TÜV will have to make immediate payments to victims. With an estimated 400,000 victims all over the world, TÜV could in theory be liable to eventual damages of over €6bn.
The ruling had been anxiously awaited by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) victims in Britain and elsewhere. The bankruptcy of the French company, and its founder Jean-Claude Mas, made compensation from any other source unlikely.