What Are PIP Implants?
PIP implants are a type of silicone breast implant manufactured by France-based company, Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP). PIP was the third largest manufacturer of breast implants globally with 47,000 UK women having been supplied with them and over 300,000 women worldwide.
After it was established that the implants were manufactured with unauthorised materials, PIP fell insolvent and a worldwide media scandal ensued.
The founder of PIP, Mr Mas, and some of his directors have been sentenced to prison following criminal charges for fraud.
PIP breast implants were banned in the UK after it was discovered that they were manufactured with industrial grade silicone, meaning they were far more likely to rupture than other types of breast implant on the market.
It is thought that over 47,000 British women have had PIP breast implants fitted, with private clinics fitting 95% of them and the NHS performing 5%, which were mainly breast reconstruction procedures following cancer.
In the UK, claims have been brought against the private cosmetic surgery companies who supplied PIP breast implants as part of the private contract patients entered into for breast augmentation surgery.
Claims were brought on the basis that in supplying an implant manufactured from unauthorised material (which were more likely to rupture than other breast implants on the market) there was a breach of contract as the implants are clearly not of satisfactory quality and not fit for purpose.
Claims are also brought against credit card companies under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and against surgeons who supplied the implants in their personal capacity as part of their business activities.
The PIP breast implant scandal highlighted a number of problems with the regulation of medical devices and the cosmetic surgery industry generally. It also highlighted how there is a substantive lack of insuring in the cosmetic surgery industry.
A large number of cosmetic surgery clinics that were insolvent left a number of women without remedy. Had those clinics been solvent, they may have been able to recover their losses from the UK distributor of PIP breast implants, Cloverleaf Product Limited. However, it has been possible for some women to assign their insolvent clinic’s right to pursue Cloverleaf to themselves and claim against Cloverleaf directly.
For those who have been left without any form of remedy in the UK, there is an opportunity to join a group action being brought in the French courts. This is subject to strict deadlines.
How You Can Claim
Our product liability team have two of the five leading solicitors in the UK for bringing claims on behalf of women who have had PIP implants fitted and have since helped to settle hundreds of cases on behalf of claimants.
The time for joining the litigation against private clinics has now passed, but you may still be able to claim as a result of being fitted with these implants if you paid by credit card.
If you have PIP breast implants and have been unable to bring a claim in the UK, please contact us online and we can discuss how we can help you.