Court orders Germany's TUV to pay compensation to faulty breast implant victims

PARIS (Reuters) - A French appeals court has ordered German certification agency TUV Rheinland to pay up to 37,000 euros per person to victims of faulty breast implants produced by French company PIP prior to its closure, lawyers for the victims said in a statement.

The lawyers said the Court of Appeal in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence had ruled that TUV would have to pay a group of 13 PIP victims between 7,000 euros and more than 37,000 euros each, with an average payment of 16,555 euros, and said the decision would serve as a benchmark for other victims.

The TUV Rheinland press office could not be reached immediately for comment.

"With this unprecedented ruling the PIP dossier enters in the final stage of compensation for the victims," lawyers collective PIPA (PIP Implant World Victims Association) said.

Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), the French company at the center of the scandal, sold implants globally for over two decades until investigators discovered in 2010 that it was passing off low-grade industrial silicone as a much pricier medical product. More than 300,000 women received PIP implants.

A French court ruled in 2021 that TUV had been negligent in awarding safety certificates for PIP implants.

In May 2017, a Marseille appeal court ordered TUV to pay a total of 60 million euros - 3,000 euros to each plaintiff - in a class action case concerning 20,000 victims across 14 countries. At the time, TUV said in a statement it would make provisional payments.

PIPA said that Thursday's ruling is the first to award final compensation amounts to PIP victims since the start of the affair in 2010, as courts so far had only awarded provisional payments of between 3,000 and 6,000 euros. It added that close to 35,000 women had already received provisional compensation.

About 35,000 PIP victims are seeking damages from TUV in six different court procedures in France, PIPA said.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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