It is not too late to make PIP breast implant recall compensation claims, but you need to act quickly before time runs out.

If you have been implanted with breast implants manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prothése (PIP), you may be among the estimated 1,500 women in Ireland entitled to make breast implant recall compensation claims.

This specific brand of breast implant was recalled in March 2010 after a higher than average incidence of rupture was identified by the French regulatory authority AFSSAPS. A subsequent investigation into the company discovered that the implants had also been filled with a non-approved silicone gel.

Poly Implant Prothése was subsequently liquidated and its CEO Jean-Claude Mas sentenced to four years imprisonment for aggravated fraud.

Who is Affected by the PIP Breast Implants Recall?

According to information released by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (formerly the Irish Medicines Board), approximately 1,500 women in Ireland underwent breast enhancement surgery with the recalled implants.

The Shandon Street Hospital in Cork, Clane Hospital in County Kildare and Harley Medical Clinic in Dublin all offered the faulty PIP breasts implants as an “economic option” between January 2001 and March 2010. The recalled breast implants in Ireland were never used by the HSE for reconstructive surgery or for breast cancer patients.

In March 2012 the Health Products Regulatory Authority and the UK equivalent -the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – both published press releases that breast implants used prior to 2001 could also contain non-approved silicone gel, but no figures have been released to indicate how many women may be affected from  before 2001.

Health Concerns over the Recalled Breast Implants

After one woman in France died from anaplastic large cell lymphoma attributable to her ruptured PIP breast implants, French health officials acknowledged that the industrial grade silicone that was used in the manufacture of the recalled breast implants presented a high risk of inflammatory reaction in some women.

Regulatory authorities in Ireland and the UK gave health advice that contradicted that from France, based on a study by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). The Health Products Regulatory Authority and MHRA both stated “there is no reliable evidence that ruptured PIP implants create a greater health risk than a ruptured silicone breast implant from another manufacturer”.

Nonetheless, in January 2012 the UK government announced that it would fund the removal and replacement of the recalled breast implants for NHS patients who had undergone reconstructive surgery. Women who had breast implants for cosmetic reasons could have them removed on the NHS (but not replaced) only if their GP agreed that there was a medical reason to do so.

The HSE in Ireland delayed for a further two years before announcing in April 2014 it would also fund the removal of the recalled breast implants only when “clinically necessary”.

Entitlement to PIP Breast Implants Compensation

Women who have received the PIP breast implants should be entitled to make breast implant recall compensation claims to recover the costs of removal and replacement of their faulty implants – irrespective of whether or not the implants have ruptured or leaked and caused a physical injury.

An opinion given by Sir Bruce Keogh – chairman of a UK government commission investigating the faulty breast implants – that “anxiety over possible health risks is a form of health risk in itself” also allows women in the UK to claim emotional trauma compensation for the faulty breast implants, provided if it can be proven that a psychological injury has occurred.

In Ireland the same opinion would enable plaintiffs to claim general damages for the removal and replacement of their faulty PIP breast implants, claim injury compensation for any quantifiable emotional trauma they have suffered, compensation for their loss of amenity and special damages to replace any related financial costs they have encountered.

Issues with Claiming Compensation for Faulty Breast Implants

Many issues exist with claiming compensation for faulty breast implants, not least that the manufacturer of the faulty product – Poly Implant Prothése – is no longer in business, nor is the clinic that performed the greatest volume of breast enhancement surgery using the recalled breast implants – the Harley Medical Clinic in Dublin.

Furthermore, unlike in the UK and Northern Ireland – where you have six years to recover the cost of a faulty credit card purchase under §75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1975 – there is no provision in Ireland to recover compensation for faulty breast implants from credit card companies.

A few individual breast implant recall compensation claims have resulted in compensation being awarded and, in France, a compensation claim for the recalled breast implants was successful against Poly Implant Prothése´s former insurers. However, that verdict only applied to French nationals, and the insurance company were limited in their liability to 3 million €uros.

Potential claimants in both Ireland and the UK still have the opportunity to join a class action against TUV Rheinland – the German company which certified the PIP breast implants as being safe. A court in Toulon found the company negligent last year and ordered them to pay claimants €3,000 compensation for faulty breast implants immediately to cover the cost of removing and replacing their implants.

This case is still ongoing, with solicitors aiming to recover up to €30,000 per claimant in compensation for the faulty breast implants, but you need to contact a solicitor quickly before time runs out to be included in this legal action.

Talk to a Solicitor about Breast Implant Recall Compensation Claims

If you believe that you have been implanted with PIP breast implants, your first course of action should be to consult with a doctor and request a scan in order to identify whether the implants have ruptured or are leaking.

Thereafter, if you wish to claim compensation for faulty breast implants, it is in your best interests to talk to a solicitor about breast implant recall compensation claims at the earliest practical opportunity so that you do not miss the opportunity to benefit from the TUV Rheinland case soon to be determined in France.