Four years jail for breast implant fraud

By Caribbean Medical News Sraff

Frenchman, Jean-Claude Mas of the now defunct French Breast implant company Poly Implant Prothese will spend four years in jail for fraud, according to news reports out of Marseilles, France.

The embattled Frenchman was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to four years for filling thousands of breast implants with industrial silicone. Despite his jail term, he left the Court free while thousands of women wait for justice. Based on the typical class action lawsuit one would normally file in the US, Mas was hit with a judgment for a whopping US$55 million to 125 000women. These women only represent a small fraction of women who had breast implantsthrough his company from all over the world.

Because Mr. Mas has declared bankruptcy, it is likely that women may have to wait years for the judgment while suffering the ill-effects or receive no judgment at all.  Mas was fined US$103 000 by the Court while four other managers received lesser sentences.

The PIP implants were filled with industrial grade silicone as opposed to medical grade and were prone to leak. In some countries, women will be able to have the prosthetic removed and reconstructive surgery done, only if the breast implants were not cosmetic. In other countries, the medical fraternity will decide whether they will only remove the implants free of cost or remove them free of cost but make women pay for reconstructive surgery or variations of all of the above. One British woman said she would have to pay 6 000 pounds sterling for reconstructive surgery since her implants were deemed “cosmetic”.

The entire situation is not only complicated by the fact that Poly Implant Prothese has no funds but that thousands of Mas’ clients came from as far as Costa Rica to the UK and in between.

However, TUeV Rheinland, a German product-testing company allegedly cleared PIP for certification but lawyers for the company say that the German company is also a victim of Mas’ deception. The Toulon Court ordered TUeV to pay damages to more than 1600 women and six separate distribution companies.

The lawyers for Mas intend to appeal. However, some women are considering suing the German company that cleared PIP for the implants which maintains that it has no responsibility in the action and was deceived by Mas.



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