Italy surgeons sue over faulty breast implants

Wed Feb 1, 2012 7:22am EST
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By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's plastic surgeons association on Wednesday sued the French company that made substandard breast implants and the German certification company that checked its products for fraud and said its members would consider themselves injured parties.

The association said its lawyers had filed the suit in a Rome court against the now defunct company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) and Germany's TUV Rheinland.

"Surgeons who used the incriminating implants were as much the objects of fraud as were the patients," the association's vice president, Mario Pelle Ceravolo, said.

He said the surgeons had been "tricked" by a product that had the European Union's mark of approval and had all the physical characteristics of a bonafide product.

"Doctors who used the PIP implant cannot be blamed ..." he said.

French inspectors ordered them off the market in March 2010, due to concerns over their quality.

But only last month did officials in Paris recommend their surgical removal, drawing attention to the problem for patients worldwide who had been fitted with products from the company, which was at one time the third biggest global supplier.

PIP enjoyed years of success with international sales but the company was hiding from certification agencies the fact they were using cheap, industrial silicone, not approved for medical use.   Continued...

<p>The locked entrance of the French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) building is seen in La Seyne-sur-Mer near Toulon, December 27, 2011. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier</p>