The Court of Cassation confirmed on Thursday the responsibility of the German certifier TÜV in the case of defective breast prostheses PIP, which has affected thousands of women around the world, while referring several parts of the case to the Court of Appeal of Lyon.
Seized of four decisions on the compensation of victims of this health scandal, the highest court of the French judicial order has confirmed in particular that "the company TÜV Rheinland (...) has failed to fulfil its obligations of control, prudence and vigilance in the performance of its professional duties, (and) TÜV Rheinland France has proven to be professionally liable'.
The Court was seized of decisions rendered by the courts of appeal of Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), Paris and Versailles on the compensation of victims of this health scandal that had broken out in 2010. Thousands of women around the world had received implants filled with non-compliant, artisanal and cheap gel, instead of the required silicone gel, following a fraud by this PIP company located in the Var.
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It therefore confirmed TUV's responsibility and quashed for the rest two decisions rendered in Aix, on a point of law (the Court of Cassation does not judge on the merits of the files). In another part of the case, which has become sprawling over the years, it upheld a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal finding TÜV liable and ordering the company to pay instalments for moral damage and anxiety.
It held that that liability could not be limited to a period from 1 September 2006 to 6 April 2010, contrary to what had been decided by the Paris Court of Appeal. This limitation had led to the dismissal of several hundred plaintiffs of their claims for compensation. The Court of Cassation has finally quashed a judgment of the Versailles Court of Appeal rejecting the claims for compensation of more than 200 women, domiciled in Sweden. It referred all the files, for the parties quashed and therefore to be retried, to the Court of Appeal of Lyon.