• Germany edition
 
Toxic breast implant case reaches German court
Photo: DPA

Toxic breast implant case reaches German court

Published: 14 Nov 2012 08:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2012 08:23 GMT+01:00

The regional court in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe opened the case brought by a 40-year-old mother of three who opted for the implants from French manufacturer Poly Implant Prothese or PIP in 2007.

"With her lawsuit, the plaintiff is seeking an award primarily for pain and suffering of €20,000 - €30,000 from five defendants based on various legal aspects," the court said in a statement.

The plaintiff had paid €5,800 for implants before learning in 2010 after the scandal broke that they were filled with a sub-standard silicone gel.

The primary defendant is the woman's cosmetic surgeon, whom she accuses of failing to inform her sufficiently about the risks and of having promoted PIP implants in particular.

Other parties cited in the suit include PIP's insurer, German inspection authorities and the German federal government, which the plaintiff accuses of failing in its duties to properly oversee medical products.

Presiding judge Eberhard Lang indicated during the first hearing that the authorities could probably not be held responsible as the problems with the PIP implants only came to light after she received them. He also noted that the insurer had no legal liability outside France.

Lang focused the remainder of the hearing on the cosmetic surgeon, who the plaintiff said told her the implants would "last a lifetime" and were strong enough to withstand a car running over them.

The doctor, whose name was not released, insisted he had informed his patient of the potential risks and presented a document to that effect that the plaintiff had signed. An at least partial verdict is expected on November 30.

According to federal records, more than 5,200 women in Germany received PIP implants. By mid-2012, 1,015 women had had them removed. In more than one-quarter of the cases, a rupture of the implant had been detected.

In Spain, a woman filed a suit against her surgeon in February. A Madrid court ordered the doctor to pay the plaintiff nearly €7,500 for not having sufficiently warned her of the risks.

The first lawsuit in France is expected to be heard in April.

PIP was shut down and its products banned in April 2010 after it was revealed to have been using non-authorised silicone gel that caused abnormally high implant rupture rates.

However experts disagree on the potential health risks.

AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

23:14 November 14, 2012 by zeddriver
MUST.... GET..... BREAST..... IMPLANTS.

Yes. Yes. I'll sign the papers. Just get me those big boobs.

Maybe a little research of one's own might have helped. Of course I realize that in Europe. The government thinks for you. So why would one question anything.

While I feel bad that this happened. It just boggles my mind for two reasons.

1, After all the fights for equality/rights that women have fought/fighting so hard for. Why is it that they still can't get passed vanity.

2, If a woman posses for an adult magazine and I look at it. I'm guilty of supporting exploitation and objectifying a woman's body. Yet women seem to be more concerned about the size of their breasts than men are. I'm confused.
Today's headlines
Cars set on fire across Berlin overnight
A burnt out car on Alten Jakobstraße, Kreuzberg, on Thursday morning.

Cars set on fire across Berlin overnight

Ten cars were set on fire across Berlin on Wednesday night and Thursday morning in the second night of disturbances in the the city. READ  

Organized crime on the rise in Germany
Police escort a motorcycle gang in Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: DPA

Organized crime on the rise in Germany

Organized criminals are increasingly active in Germany, with the mafia as well as biker and international gangs making headway in the country, according to a government report. READ  

Nazi hunters find 80 living 'war criminals'
Jerusalem's Simon Wiesenthal Centre director Efraim Zuroff at the launch of a campaign to find remaining war criminals last year. Photo: DPA

Nazi hunters find 80 living 'war criminals'

The Israeli branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Wednesday urged Germany to prosecute alleged members of Nazi death squads during World War II, giving it a list of 80 suspects. READ  

Germany ranks third in world university list
Students at Munich's LMU. Photo: DPA

Germany ranks third in world university list

German universities have shot up the world's leading higher education rankings, with Germany now having more institutions among the world's best than any other country after the US and UK. READ  

The Local List
Eight expat groups to save you in Germany
Photo: Jan Perlich/Munich RFC

Eight expat groups to save you in Germany

Think you're the only English speaker in your town or region? Think again! The Local List this week runs through eight of the best expat groups and clubs in Germany. READ  

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost
Former GDR political prisoners Hartmut (l) and Gerda Stachowitz in a East Berlin prison which has stood empty for 20 years. Photo: DPA

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost

Benefit payments to former political prisoners of ex-communist East Germany (GDR) will be raised to send an "important message" 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government said on Wednesday. READ  

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises
Apartments in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises

Germany's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to cap ballooning property rents in high-demand urban neighbourhoods in a law set to come into force early next year. READ  

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find
Passengers are delayed at Tegel Airport. Photo: DPA

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find

UPDATE: The discovery of a US World War II bomb disrupted flights at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on Wednesday afternoon, with no flights taking off or landing for 30 minutes. The bomb has now been defused but later flights are still delayed. READ  

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'
A photo allegedly showing guards abusing one refugee. Photo: DPA/Police

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'

A group of guards who allegedly abused refugees in an asylum centre in western Germany were nicknamed “the SS” after Hitler's stormtroopers, according to one of their colleagues. Photos of guards abusing refugees have sparked a backlash in Germany against security firms. READ  

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants
First prize went to Nestle for its sugary baby food. Photo: Foodwatch

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants

A food watchdog presented Nestle with a prize to avoid on Wednesday for the cheekiest false advertising of the year. The runner-up was a chicken soup with no chicken in a vote of almost 160,000 Germans. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Munich
Bavarian independence becomes a reality... (online)
Photo: DPA/Police
National
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,155
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd