First verdict in the breast implant scandal

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French court orders PIP manufacturer's insurance for damages

In the scandal surrounding the inferior breast implants of the French manufacturer Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), a French court has now given a first judgment against the manufacturer's insurance. The insurance company is therefore obliged to pay for damage claims against PIP.

Whether the insurance of the manufacturer of the silicone breast implants was intended for such cases may be left open. In any case, Allianz or its French subsidiary has to cover PIP's insurance claims for the women affected. The court in Avignon, France, has ordered the insurance of the insolvent manufacturer PIP to pay 4,000 euros in damages to a patient. Allianz had refused to assume the costs because PIP willfully provided false information when taking out the insurance, but Allianz was unable to assert this position in court. Although it is undisputed that PIP kept both insurance companies, medical professionals and the public in the dark about the processing of low-quality silicone in the breast implants, the alliance must pay for the damage.

Insurance must pay compensation for inferior breast implants According to the judges of the "référés du tribunal d’Avignon", Allianz insurance or its French subsidiary must defend the patients by the French manufacturer PIP. A 31-year-old patient who was implanted with a PIP silicone pillow had sued for damages in court. Since PIP is now bankrupt, its claim was directed against the insurance of the manufacturer of the inferior silicone breast implants. The judges agreed with the applicant. The alliance has to pay, although it has sued PIP in a separate procedure for deliberately deceiving the insurance contract as null and void. The current judgment is viewed by lawyers as a guide for upcoming proceedings in which affected patients want to assert possible claims for damages against PIP.

Compensation as compensation for the health risks In this way, women receive at least a small compensation for the considerable health risks to which they were or are exposed due to the inferior breast implants. PIP silicone cushions have been implanted in well over 300,000 women worldwide, which can have serious health consequences for the affected patients. The breast implants tend to crack and women are at significantly increased risk of inflammation. A possibly increased risk of cancer is still being discussed. In many countries, the health authorities have therefore advised patients to have the pillows removed. In some countries, such as France, the distance costs are even covered by the health insurance. In addition, the women can also claim damages, which cannot be served by PIP, since the company is now insolvent, but for which the insurance must be paid by PIP.

Insurance has sued PIP for nullity of the insurance contract. In the end, Allianz is liable for the inferior PIP silicone pillows. This is despite the lawsuit filed by the insurance company against PIP. Allianz-Versicherung had sued PIP for deliberate deception by those responsible when taking out the insurance for nullity of the insurance contract concluded in July 2010. The decision in the corresponding procedure is still pending. For the judges in Avignon, however, the outcome has no effect on their current verdict. Here the insurance must pay for the claims for damages of the plaintiff. The Allianz insurance company in Paris initially did not confirm or deny the judgment.

First criminal complaint against company founder of PIP In addition to the verdict against Allianz insurance, a first criminal complaint against the company founder of PIP has recently become known. The lawsuit filed in Toulon against the founder of the company and parts of his family allegedly endangered life. As the news agency "AFP" reports, there is not only the accusation of intentional danger to life, but also the suspicion of illegal enrichment. As attorney Christine Ravaz told the agency, the trial should also reveal "where the company's assets have stayed." Indeed, it seems extremely strange that PIP had to file for bankruptcy fairly quickly, despite the fact that the cash registers were concerned about the use of cheap silicone for the manufacture of the implants would have to be well filled. Because the processed silicone only costs a fraction of the silicone suitable for medical purposes and PIP could hardly complain about sales difficulties in the years before the scandal became known. This raises the question of the whereabouts of the money collected not only for the plaintiff's lawyer. (fp)

Read on:
Breast implant scandal: WHO intervenes
Health insurance company pays another breast operation
Faulty Breast Implants: Late Information
Insurance is not responsible for PIP breast implants
Dispute over breast implant: cash register does not have to pay
Sexy Cora died after breast surgery
Breast implants can burst
Faulty silicone pad implanted in women

Image: Henning Hraban Ramm /

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