For a European compensation fund to assist victims of PIP breast implants and CE products
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Support the victims of the PIP breast implants scandal!
Call for a European compensation fund to assist victims of CE marked products.
Eight years after the scandal first broke, nothing has been settled.
None of the victims of PIP breast implants can be certain that they will receive compensation. Those who cannot afford to remove their toxic implants continue to live with a time bomb in their breasts.
It is high time to put an end to this ordeal for thousands of women, who, like the victims of sexual assault, are often told that they "looked for it" and who, when they dare to demand justice, must face the opprobrium of those who have let it happen.
However, their only wrong was to trust a certified health product that had received the CE mark (European Conformity), which was supposed to be a guarantee of safety for the consumer.
The PIP affair is everyone's business, the CE marking having to be affixed on thousands of products: our children's toys, our telephones, our boilers, our vehicles, our household products, our microwave ovens, condoms etc....
A compensation fund to be launched by the European Union primarily for PIP victims would have several virtues.
- it would allow all patients throughout the world implanted with this class 3 medical device to have the assurance that the medical costs and prejudices generated by the non-compliance of this product are covered in a rapid, certain, egalitarian and non-discriminatory manner, without being subjected to legal uncertainty and procedural delays that aggravate their suffering;
- by at least provisionally assuming the financial consequences of the failure of a product bearing its CE mark, the European Union would send a very strong signal to consumers throughout the world by demonstrating that this certification provides a minimum level of protection through financial compensation; this would be likely to restore confidence in CE marking among economic players whose reliability is being undermined by this scandal;
- by intervening as the beneficiary of the patients, for the amount it will have paid, this fund will give the possibility to the justice system to calmly determine, without external pressure, the responsibilities of the various actors, with a view to enabling the public authorities to recover the funds thus advanced in the interests of consumers; it will enable the justice system to work serenely once the priority issue of compensation for victims has been settled;
- it would serve as a reference tool for any future failure of a CE product; it would have the human, legal and coercive means necessary to seek responsibilities, on equal terms with the entities they would decide to pursue.
PIP implant victims often face serious complications after many of them had already suffered cancer and reconstruction.
The industrial gel used by PIP, which makes implants more fragile, has a rupture rate of six times higher than others and spreads more easily in the body and frequently causes inflammation of the lymph nodes.
The first victims who have legitimately acted in court by suing the German certifier of the PIP implants had to undergo a real judicial yoyo: whereas the court of first instance condemned the certifier to compensate them, the court of appeal reversed this first decision. This certifier, a multinational company with a turnover of 2 billion euros, had no qualms about having the accounts of 50 French patients brutally seized... to recover 3000 euros (sum already used by some patients for surgery)
As for the thousands of women who attacked this certifier in another procedure, and who again obtained his conviction, they received a letter of intimidation and threats from the German group then summonses by bailiffs.
They suffer a double, triple or even quadruple penalty: cancer, reconstruction, intoxication by PIP, legal waiting, then retaliation by the certifier.
Thousands have given up or hesitate for these reasons to seek redress.
The decision of the Court of Cassation expected on 10 October 2018 in the PIP case, whatever its content, will not put an end to this endless judicial journey.
There is an urgent need to address the suffering of these women and prevent others.
For PIPA (PIP implant world victims association)
Olivier Aumaitre, lawyer at the Paris Bar, representing 15,000 victims.
Cédric Joachimsmann, former distributor, initiator of the civil action against TUV
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