The Court of Cassation confirmed, Thursday, May 25, the responsibility of the German certifier TÜV Rheinland in the case of defective PIP breast prostheses, which affected thousands of women around the world, while referring several aspects of the case to the court of call from Lyon.
Seized of four decisions on the compensation of victims of this health scandal, the highest court of the French judicial order confirmed in particular that "the company TÜV Rheinland (…) failed in its obligations of control, prudence and vigilance in the exercise of its professional mission, [and] that the professional responsibility of the company TÜV Rheinland France is proven".
The Court was seized of decisions rendered by the courts of appeal of Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), Paris and Versailles on the compensation of victims of this health scandal which had broken out in 2010. Thousands of women around the world had received implants filled with non-compliant, homemade and cheap gel, instead of the required silicone gel, following a fraud by this PIP company located in the Var. It therefore confirmed the responsibility of TÜV Rheinland and quashed for the rest two decisions rendered in Aix, on a point of law (the Court of Cassation does not judge on the merits of the cases).
Moral prejudice and anxiety
In another part of the case, which has become sprawling over the years, she confirmed a decision by the Paris Court of Appeal finding TÜV Rheinland liable and ordering the company to pay provisions for moral damage and anxiety. It ruled that this liability could not be limited to a period from September 1, 2006 to April 6, 2010, contrary to what had been decided by the Paris Court of Appeal. This limitation had led to the dismissal of several hundred plaintiffs of their claims for compensation.
The Court of Cassation has finally quashed a judgment of the Versailles Court of Appeal rejecting the compensation claims of more than two hundred women, domiciled in Sweden. She returned all the files, for the broken parts and therefore to be re-tried, to the Lyon Court of Appeal.
It is estimated that 400,000 women worldwide have PIP implants. TÜV Rheinland, a leading specialist in product certification, employs 20,000 people worldwide with a turnover of around 2 billion euros.