French women to sue surgeons over faulty breast implants

28th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

A lawyer representing four French women who received breast implants feared to be at risk of rupturing said Wednesday they would be suing the manufacturer and their surgeons.

Laurent Gaudon said he would file the suit next week at a court in the southern city of Toulon.

Between 300,000 and 400,000 women in 65 countries from Europe to Latin America have implants made with sub-standard silicone gel manufactured by the now-bankrupt company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP).

France last week advised 30,000 women to have their PIP implants removed because of an increased risk of rupture.

Gaudon said the four women would be suing PIP, German company TUV which provided quality certification for PIP, and their four cosmetic surgeons.

"The doctors must be questioned by experts... They could not have been ignorant of the fact that these implants were fragile," he said, adding that his clients had discovered cracks in their implants but not yet had them removed.

Prosecutors in Marseille, near PIP's laboratory at Seyne-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean, have received more than 2,000 complaints from French women who received the implants, and are pursuing a criminal investigation.

PIP was shut down and its products banned in April last year after it was revealed to have been using non-authorised silicone gel that caused abnormally high implant rupture rates.

On Tuesday it emerged that the US Food and Drug Administration had already in 2000 sent a letter to PIP warning of "serious" quality control violations involving its saline implants.

© 2011 AFP

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