This information is dedicated to PIP victims and is not meant to apply to other types of cosmetic surgery of which there are many and each has its own associated complexity. It would be reasonable to assume that the breast implant scandal with PIP is straight forward considering that the information widely publicized about the toxic silicone.
What makes these claims different is that the manufacturers of PIP are a company that was registered in France and is no longer trading, the company director has criminal charges against him, and the insurance that he had for the company is not available due to the breach of the terms of the policy. So in terms of who is at fault the obvious possible first choice being the manufacturer is not an option.
The responsibility for the use of these implants does not lie exclusively with the manufacturer as they were significant but did not work alone. There are also the distributors who we know to be a company called Cloverleaf, and the clinics and the surgeons all of whom played a part in this. It is the level of involvement and responsibility that they each had which is the subject of debate and legal investigations and this is what distinguishes this from other claims for cosmetic surgery.
It would also be reasonable for you to assume these claims are medical or clinical negligence due to the procedure but that is not the legal case. The legal case is that these claims are likely to be consumer claims in the same way that you are protected if you purchase a faulty product although the product was implanted into your body by surgery it is still a product.
That is not to rule out completely an element of medical negligence because this may be a factor.
Therefore if these are to be presented as consumer claims part of the evidence will be the actual contract with the clinic or surgeon who supplied you or carried out the surgery. This is why we are asking those who seek our help for copies of any documents that they have regarding the original brochure from the clinic offering the treatment to the final payment or fee for after care.
Please think back carefully to when you first decided to have this treatment and it may be worthwhile writing notes about this to help your recollection. We will be asking you for a timeline of sorts to confirm:
When you decided to have the surgery
How you went about choosing the clinic and/or surgeon
What advertising material did you review or rely on for your choice
What were the payment arrangements?
What did the clinic require of you before the procedure took place e.g. were there meetings with the surgeon in advance, were your medical records reviewed, were you examined and did you fill in an information sheet about your health and any medication or ailments.
The silicone breast implants were made by the French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) and banned in 2010. We are not certain of the date when they were first manufactured but this was around 2000-2003.
The product was banned due to the identification that the implants were not the safe medical silicone but rather industrial grade.
What is silicone implant rupture?
This is when the implant splits and releases the silicone gel. The split can either be a large tear or a small split which would be hardly noticeable and this is the main problem for most women. If the split was obvious they would have known there was a problem sooner but because many have a small tear where the silicone is seeping out it is not obvious.
The result of the split can cause many problems such as scar tissue, wrinkling of the skin, change of shape, pain, numbness to name but a few.
What is the global scale?
Recent estimates put the total at 300,000 implants in 65 countries to give you an indication of the massive scale of this problem with approximately 40,000 women in the UK. Only 5% or so of the implants were used by the NHS.
Advice about removal?
There is no consensus and it appears to be where you live that is the answer. So if you reside in Wales, France, Germany, it is yes.
If you live in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland the answer is that it is not necessary unless you have confirmation that you have a rupture.
What is Compensation?
Compensation usually falls under two categories: 1) the pain, suffering and loss of amenity which means the physical and psychological injury; and 2) any financial losses which would be the cost of the first surgery and any further treatment costs, travel expenses, time off work, medication, etc….
Why might I need legal advice?
We, as you would expect, recommend that you seek legal assistance because of the complexities referred to above but more importantly to protect your claim. Many women have already registered their potential claim and many more are continuing to do so. The registration of their details secures their place in the claim that is now being formulated against several defendants for compensation. There is no deadline for registration yet but it is likely you will need to have done so by the end of July when the final phase registration is due to be completed. This date may be extended but as a precaution we would ask that you work towards that date.
Should you need initial legal advice on any aspect of claiming compensation for cosmetic surgery negligence then call us today so that we may take your details and you to our list.