News / World

German company gets boost in faulty breast implant ruling

PARIS — The European Court of Justice says a German product-testing company is not necessarily liable for faulty French breast implants sold to thousands of women around the world.

The manufacturer, PIP, was convicted in France of fraud for making implants with industrial-grade silicone instead of medical silicone, but the bankrupt company couldn't pay damages to women who suffered from leaky implants as a result.

Many women sought compensation from product-testing company TUV Rheinland instead.

Prompted by one such case, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that companies such as TUV are "not under a general obligation to carry out unannounced inspections" or examine devices or manufacturers' business records.

The court left it up to national law to determine whether TUV did what's necessary to protect end users of medical devices.

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