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German safety certifier ordered to pay millions to French breast implant victims

Breast implant made by PIP, 5 January 2012 Reuters/Eric Gaillard

A French court has ordered a German safety body to pay 60 million euros in compensation to 20,000 women who received faulty breast implants.

TUV Rheinland, which ruled the implants made by French firm Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) met safety standards, was ordered to make a provisional payment of 3,000 euros to each plaintiff.

But the devices made were later found to contain poor quality silicone gel, which was seven times cheaper than medical-grade silicone.

Lawyer Olivier Aumaitre, representing some 13,000 women, praised the commercial court in the southern port of Toulon for a ruling he said was inevitable given "TUV's glaring negligence".

TUV's lawyer Cécile Derycke said the firm would appeal the ruling.

The scandal made global headlines in 2011, the year after doctors first noticed abnormally high rupture rates in the implants.

Some 300,000 women in 65 countries, most of them in Latin America, are believed to have received the faulty implants