Richard Matthews, head of product liability at Eversheds, has said that the sentencing of Jean-Claude Mas for his role in the PIP breast implant saga represents a ‘significant milestone’.
He said: ‘The sentencing of Jean-Claude Mas represents a significant milestone in the PIP breast implant saga, which began with the discovery of discarded containers of industrial silicone by French health inspectors attending PIP’s factory in March 2010… However, the story is far from over.’
Matthews said that despite the recent ruling by another French court that TÜV, the German body responsible for inspecting PIP, was liable to compensate women with PIP implants, significant questions remain. Several reports, including one commissioned by the Department of Health, have indicated that PIP implant material was neither toxic nor carcinogenic.
He said: ‘Even if the implants are shown to be sub-standard, it remains unclear who should bear the cost of compensating the many thousands of women who received them. PIP itself went into liquidation in 2010, and many of the clinics who conducted implant surgery have also fallen by the wayside in subsequent years.
’In the UK, group litigation addressing these questions is ongoing before the High Court, with a trial not expected until mid-2014.’