250 British women sue over French breast implants: lawyer
More than 250 British women will start court action next year after more than half of them experienced ruptures in breast implants made by French company PIP, a lawyer said Wednesday.
"Over half of these women have suffered ruptured implants and we are also representing other women who are worried by the reports of problems and worried that their implants could rupture eventually," lawyer Esyllt Hughes told AFP.
"We have issued some court proceedings and we expect them to begin in Cardiff next year."
French health officials have said the government plans to recommend to 30,000 French women with PIP implants that they have them removed, after eight cases of cancer, mainly breast cancer, were reported.
PIP, which exported the majority of its implants, went bankrupt last year.
The British lawyer, from a firm of solicitors based in the Welsh capital Cardiff, said the women intended to make claims against the clinics which carried out the operations to insert the implants.
"Our preferred route would have been to pursue PIP directly but they have gone into receivership and our information is that they were not adequately insured," Hughes said.
"Therefore we are pursuing claims against the implanting clinics themselves.
"We have been inundated with new enquiries today and we would expect the interest to increase."
The initial claim will be made against seven clinics, although the lawyers believe up to 20 could be involved.
Up to 50,000 British women have had implants manufactured by PIP.
British health authorities sought Wednesday to reassure the women, saying there was no evidence of a link between the products and cancer.
PIP was closed down and its products were banned last year after it was found to have been using non-authorised silicone gel that caused abnormally high rupture rates of its implants.
© 2011 AFP