On Thursday 10 December 2020, the final hearing was held before the Commercial Court of Toulon in the so-called TUV 4 procedure for more than 1,500 new PIP victims of all nationalities.
Represented by Mr. Olivier Aumaître, lawyer, who initiated all the actions against the certifier TÜV RHEINLAND in this case, the patients demand a provision of 6000 euros from the German company that had allowed Jean-Claude Mas to sell his fraudulent implants throughout the world.
Over time, the damage caused by the industrial silicone of the PIP implants is getting worse and the costs are getting higher and higher for the patients, who also have to face long legal procedures.
For example, of the approximately 22,000 patients who have already sought redress in court, more than half have suffered a rupture of their prosthesis. The silicone then spreads throughout the body, causing inflammation of the lymph nodes or breathing difficulties. Legal experts have recognized a permanent anxiety injury to women with PIP.
With a case which, according to Maître Aumaître, has become “devastating” for TUV, the principle of the German group’s liability now seems to have been accepted. TUV has understood this and seems to be concentrating its efforts on limiting the quantum of compensation by seeking, against all evidence, to deny the reality of the victims’ suffering and their admissibility to take action, by trying to dissuade them from seeking justice.
By choosing to lock itself into a strategy of delay and denial, TUV Rheinland has allowed toxic silicone to gnaw at the bodies of over 300,000 women. It is a choice that seems to have been taken, since as early as 2011 internal exchanges within the company alerted about its serious failures in the control of PIP.
For Olivier Aumaitre, the German multinational must now pay the price “not only for its negligence, but also for its judicial strategy” which has led to aggravating the personal situation of each victim.
The global bill could reach a billion euros.
The year 2021 should sound like the year of the end for TUV Rheinland since several court decisions are expected:
- 11 February 2021: decision of the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal in the TUV 2 & 3 proceedings (TUV was sentenced in 2017 in first instance to compensate 20,000 patients as well as 35 clinics and distributors).
- 20 May 2021: decision of the Paris Court of Appeal (TUV was ordered in 2013 to compensate 1,700 patients and 6 distributors, before this decision was overturned on appeal in 2015, then reinstated by the Court of Cassation in 2018, which asked the Paris Court of Appeal to retry the case in its entirety).
- 11 June 2021: decision of the Toulon Commercial Court (TUV 4)
Several thousands of patients have already commissioned Olivier Aumaître for a new TUV 5 procedure. The PIPA platform, which registers new claims on a daily basis, expects that these will continue to flow in over the next few years. Indeed, the limitation periods are still far from being reached.