A Hogan Lovells partner has defended the use of bailiffs to send legal letters directly to victims of a breast implant scandal.

In 2012 a UK report found that breast implants made by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) had a much higher rupture rate compared with other implants. Thousands of women in the UK and across the world were affected by the faulty implants with many suffering health problems and requiring further operations. 

After a lengthy trial, in 2017 a French court found German certification body TUV Rheinland liable for failing to detect problems with the implants. TUV was ordered to make payouts totally around EUR60m to 20,000 claimants. For many of the claimants, the individual compensation of around EUR3,000 each was less than the initial cost of the surgery. 

TUV, instructing Hogan Lovells, has now begun an appeal process which has resulted in letters being sent to the home addresses of the claimants warning them that they may have to pay back the compensation.

"TUV didn't have any other choice but to send the documentation" said Hogan Lovells lawyer Cécile Derycke, according to a report by the BBC. The Paris partner said that the lawyers for the claimants had not registered with the Court of Appeal in France, and so "after more than a year of trying to avoid this" TUV sent submissions directly to the claimants "through a bailiff".  She argued that "the French lawyers for the claimants were duly informed that this would happen".

UPDATE: The PIPA team, lawyers for the claimants, has now released a statement on their website saying that they "strongly contest" that TUV was "forced to send bailiffs to patients who are suing them before French courts." They accuse TUV of a "deliberate strategy to frighten the victims and to cause disorder among them". The PIPA team says that the "strategy of intimidation will have no effect" as they will "carry on representing patients, in order to obtain complete compensation on their behalf".

Tip Off ROF


bananaman 31 May 19 23:46

It wouldn’t be a bailiff in the legal sense. They would be process servers that are also authorised to act as bailiffs. When you are dealing with potential low lifes it’s a bit different to sending Tarquin to serve on BP’s head office, so the “skill set” of a bailiff comes in handy. I expect this is why bailiff is in quotes all over the piece. 

Hard to feel sorry for a bunch of narcissists.

Ivy 01 June 19 12:32

What makes you think these people are narcissists? Are you talking about the victims here? Many women undergo these surgery for many reasons including as a result of breast cancer, other surgeries, being born with defects, transgender women as well as women being told from a very early age by media and men that a women should look a certain way as a result of which many opt to do this. Are you sure you do not do/buy anything for appearances sake and everything you do is basic and necessity driven? 

And why is it hard to feel sorry for people in what must be a very difficult and traumatic situation regardless of their reasons?

Amanda Carter 06 June 19 18:47

I am one of those low life narcissists you refer to you uneducated wimp. 


Many of us had these implants put into us by the NHS so please don't be so judgemental 


Its industrial grade silicone. Women have died and you call us low life narcissists 

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