Prof. Jonathan Turley is reporting today (here) that France is experiencing a massive tort scandal after it was discovered thousands of women were given breast implants containing industrial silicone rather than medical silicone. He recently also reported on cases in the United States of people posing as doctors who performed procedures for others using materials purchased from auto and home repair stores. (See here). However, these cases do not come close to the French scandal. Over 30,000 women in France (as well as some in Spain and the UK) may have had the defective products from Poly Implant Prosthesis (PIP). PIP is one of the world’s leading producers of the implants and reportedly saved €1 billion a year by using industrial silicone instead of medical-grade fillers. The company has now closed after women developed cancer and other illnesses.
On a side note, if these cases were ever to be litigated one would think they would justify the imposition of punitive damages. However, it is unlikely that France recognizes punitive damages.