Status note on proceedings 270315

BCV Lex has filed multiple civil complaints in the PIP case at the Commercial Court of Toulon (France) in the last weeks against TUV Rheinland. These complaints represent some 500 victims, e.g. patients with PIP breast implants, plastic surgeons, distributors and hospitals from several European countries and others continents, claming for physical, financial and psychological damages.

These different claims come for first hearing on June 8, 2015.

In the meantime, TÜV’s appeal of the judgement that had been rendered by the Commercial Court of Toulon in November 13, 2014, has come before the Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence on this March 26, 2015.

The Commercial Court of Toulon had determined that TÜV, as a notified body according to the EU Directive 93/48, was liable because of not having been able to inspect efficiently manufacturer PIP, and thus having allowed the latter to market fraudulently hundreds of thousand of breasts implants filled with non authorized silicone gel.

The Court of Appeal hearing gave rise to a complete debate on TÜV’s liability.

TÜV’s lawyer pleaded mainly that (1) the latter had perfectly carried out its duties in regard of the Directive’s provisions (control of the process of quality within PIP and absolutely not control of PIP’s products quality) and (2) that TÜV had actually been a victim as well because of PIP’s fraud.

The lawyers for appelees (total of 5 hours pleading) insisted on the fact that TÜV failed both by not having implemented all the powers and faculties that they was entitled to use, and above of all by having never performed neither external controls nor unexpected visits.

Appelees’ lawyers set forth at length all the details that were gathered in the file, and concerning the routinely and negligent way TÜV’ inspectors behaved during more than 10 years annuals controls with PIP.

The reporting Judge made a long presentation of the legal issues arising out of the case, and recalled insistently the 3 basic conditions for any liability to exist: fault + damage + straightforward link between both.

The Chief Judge, when opening the hearing, stated that the Court was perfectly aware of the economic importance of the case.

The ruling is expected to normally be issued on next July, 2.

Meanwhile, the different law-suits pending at the first degree Commercial of Toulon will of course be postponed, and will normally go on or not afterwards according to the result of the appeal.