PIP implants fraud: TÜV loses €60m liability appeal

NEWS – Today saw a major victory for thousands of victims worldwide of the Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) silicone implants scandal who have been fighting for recognition that they are victims of a string of regulatory and policy failures, and not only of the core fraud.

A class action brought by women in several countries — from the UK to Colombia — has succeeded in overturning an appeal by German quality certification giant TÜV to a verdict announced in January 2017 which had established their liability for damages totalling more than €60m.

Subtle but crucial errors in the methodology of TÜV as inspector of the product it had certified resulted in a failure to detect the fraud, probably for years before this was identified. Today’s judgment confirms that TÜV — which has argued that it too is a victim of PIP’s criminal activity — had responsibility for some of the failures that have added up to the ongoing crisis.

That recognition is — or should be — a game-changer, not only for the PIP victims, but for the wider medical technology, healthcare and, indeed, consumer industries and their regulation.

Ripplefind awaits further details of the case. TÜV has not responded to requests for its views on today’s verdict and its position going forward.

(See the accompanying Opinion piece.)