1,500 Venezuelan women sue breast implant firm

January 11th, 2012 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 11 (IANS) Over 1,500 women from Venezuela who had breast implants made by a now bankrupt French company are taking legal action to secure money for replacement surgery, CNN reported.

The women who had implants made by Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) have filed a lawsuit against the company’s distributors, Venezuelan attorney Gilberto Andrea said.

Another group of 500 Argentine women with the implants are asking for the creation of a government fund in Europe to compensate victims.

The PIP implants were banned in Europe when they were reportedly found to be made with harmful, industrial-grade silicone and prone to rupture.

The French government has said it will pay to replace the faulty implants of about 30,000 French women. But there was no fund established for foreigners, Paris-based attorney Arie Alimi said.

Argentine attorney Virginia Luna said as many as 13,500 women have the implants in Argentina.

“What we’re asking for is that the prosthesis be removed and that a new one be implanted at no cost. And, of course, we want the freedom to choose a doctor to do the implants. Some private clinics have recently offered patients with PIP implants a free removal, but they still have to pay for the cost of the new implant,” Luna said.

Legislators in Argentina are asking the government to help pay for the replacement surgery, which costs an estimated $3,500.

About 300,000 women in 65 countries received breast implants from the company. The implants were banned in 2010, and the company went bankrupt later that year.

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