It has now been several months since we first met and began communicating with regard to these claims and I imagine that you are all feeling a bit weary and downhearted about the lack of progress. This is shared by me and our team and everyone involved in the claim process if that is any consolation to you.
There has however been activity and I will summarise this as follows:
The Government commissioned report into the toxicity of the silicone
Professor Keogh published his report in June and we consider this to be very beneficial to Claimants as it confirms that the implants are defective; “PIP implants are clearly substandard”. Furthermore is the reassurance that the industrial silicone is not a cause of cancer.
This will put pressure on Defendants to enter actively into negotiations to settle these claims without the lengthy and expensive legal battle.
The Health Select Committee
The debate on the Sixteenth Report of the Health Committee of Session 2010-12, PIP Breast Implants and regulation of cosmetic interventions was broadcast on the Parliament TV website and is still available to watch. It is very informative and will give hope and encouragement that the calamity that is the PIP scandal has provided invaluable lessons for the future and mistakes not to be repeated. There was a call for a register for all cosmetic procedures as at present if there is a problem there is no proper record keeping. This was and is still a real problem for victims who have been unable to access their records or whose records have been confirmed to have been lost or destroyed. With the register will follow regulations for an industry that is woefully lacking in any official supervision.
French court orders Allianz to compensate victims of French breast implants
The French branch of Allianz has been ordered to fulfil their responsibilities as insurers of Poly Implant Prothese (PIP). Allianz tried unsuccessfully to argue that due to the criminal and fraudulent activities of PIP their policy of insurance was not valid but the Court did not accept this argument.
Allianz has the right to appeal the court decision, as it claimed it had been deliberately misled by the information provided by the manufacturer. We will know more in the coming weeks but this positive decision is likely to have an impact on the British Claimants.
The case was discussed on June 14, 2012 at the European Parliament, which recommended the introduction of a breast implant register among the measures, aimed at improving the EU regulatory system
The compensation to be paid by Allianz will not be an issue as it has a wealth of resources and operations in over 70 countries and has around 180,000 employees. The parent company, Allianz SE, is headquartered in Munich, Germany. Allianz has more than 60 million customers worldwide and its services include property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance and asset management.
We are waiting for the date for the next hearing when the Court will set down the formal directions and timetable and once this is known we will provide the information.
At present there is no cut-off date for registering cases.
I cannot say how grateful I am to those of you who have had the time and ability to contact your MPs to raise awareness of the ongoing difficulties you are experiencing. Your voice will be heard and your MPs will assist you if they are able. So often we criticise the government for lack of action but unless we are active and encourage investigations and discussion in government it perhaps is unfair to bemoan the politicians.
I have had good feedback from those of you who have sent letters and emails to Parliament and I believe it will make a difference. Hearing form you direct in that way is far better than the media publishing articles.
Also do not give up on asking the clinics and the surgeons to carry out the removal and replacement. If they say no 100 times ask again. It is possible to change a previously stubborn decision.
I will update you as soon as I have more to report and am very grateful for your patience.