Victims of the PIP breast implant scandal are entitled to compensation, court rules

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  • The number of women thought to be affected stands at near 400,000. Those campaigning say they are 'elated'.

    After ten years of campaigning, it’s been decided in court that the victims of the PIP breast implant scandal should receive compensation.

    The decision was made in a French appeal.

    2,500 women were campaigning for compensation, of which 540 are from Britain. However, it’s believed that 400,000 women worldwide may be affected by the illegal implants.

    From 2001 to 2010, PIP implants – known as such because they were manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothèse – were manufactured at a substandard level, meaning they had a much higher chance of rupturing in the body.

    In 2010, the company was liquidated after it was discovered that the implants weren’t being filled with silicone fit for human use – rather, a cheap, industrial-grade alternative.

    The founder was later jailed for this crime, but thousands of women globally have been affected by these implants.

    The victims share that they are ‘elated’ after ten years of fighting for this moment.

    In the UK, estimates cite that near 47,000 women were affected. According to the NHS, side effects of the illegal implants having ruptured include:

    • lumpiness or swelling in and around the breast
    • a change in the shape of the breast
    • redness
    • pain and tenderness
    • a burning sensation
    • enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit.

    Speaking to the BBC on the matter, several women say they have experienced aching joints, pain, extreme exhaustion and fatigue as a result of the implants leaking silicone into their bodies. They say that the side effects have impacted ‘their whole lives.’

    Alifie Jones said to the BBC: “I can’t believe they were allowed to be implanted in me. I don’t know how they got through regulations.”

    “I feel guilty that I messed about with my body and I put them in in the first place, [but also] angry that a human being can do that to another human being.”

    Understandably, this decision will impact thousands of women and have significant implications for regulations around surgical procedures moving forwards.

    One of the lawyers for the case, Olivier Aumaître, said to the BBC: “A positive decision will probably put an end to the long period of doubt we’ve been going through during so many years. And the weight of compensation will be widely open for victims.”

    The company maintains that it never knew the PIP breast implants were in any way non-compliant.

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