The main protagonist in the criminal case of the PIP implant scandal died without having served the four-year prison sentence ruled against him for fraud.
He will also not be tried for assault and battery. This second criminal trial, in which other people are involved, will therefore take place, but without Jean-Claude Mas. PIPA lawyer, Olivier Aumaitre stated “We can only deplore the lack of progress in this criminal procedure, which began nine years ago, and which sees its main protagonist disappear before a trial has even begun“.
All the responsibilities have still not been established in this health scandal, where a French company has poisoned the entire planet with adulterated breast implants which were CE marked (European conformity), and certified by the German multinational TUV Rheinland.
The fight for the compensation of victims started in 2010 by Olivier Aumaître continues on the civil level. The death of the founder of PIP has no impact on the compensation proceedings against the certifier that are ongoing before the French courts.
The case recently underwent a procedural turnaround with the announcement by TUV that they agreed to be tried by the French courts and waived their right to request that the case be referred to the German courts.
Five duly reasoned court decisions have already ordered TUV Rheinland to compensate the victims (three judgments of the Toulon Commercial Court, one decision of the Nanterre Regional Court and one decision of the Spanish Court of Valencia).
The only isolated decision (rendered by the court of appeal of Aix en Provence in 2015) which, after an initial conviction, had incomprehensibly cleared TUV was annulled on 10th October 2018 by the Court of Cassation. The French Supreme court recalled that TUV was subject to an obligation of vigilance and that in the presence of indications of non compliance, TUV had to control the breast implants, purchases of raw materials and carry out unexpected visits. All these essential points had been ignored despite a devastating case.
It is now up to the Paris Court of Appeal to retry this case by setting guidelines for the compensation of patients.
The question is no longer that of identifying the liable body since the conviction of the certifier no longer seems to be in doubt, but that of the modalities of compensation and the time it will take.
For Olivier Aumaître “It will be important after several years of developments, and since the Court of Cassation has established principles, that a harmonised case-law be drawn up for the compensation of existing and future victims”.
It is recalled that thousands of new victims continue to join the action that Olivier Aumaître was the first to bring against TUV.
For Mr Aumaître, “The death of Jean-Claude Mas, and time that elapses, remind us of the urgent need to find a compensation solution for patients with PIP implants, either on a legal level or as part of the implementation of a compensation fund”.
PIPA will continue to help women around the world to obtain redress.