Trial gears up in France for five former PIP executives

Five former executives of a defunct French company that made substandard breast implants are about to get their day of reckoning.

The Telegraph in the U.K. reports founder and former CEO Jean-Claude Mas and four other former executives of Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) now face a trial set to begin soon in Marseille. They're charged with aggravated fraud, the story notes, because the company used industrial-grade silicone in its implants, passing it off as medical-grade material. PIP fell in the wake of a massive health scare in 2011 caused by news of the substandard material and that it ruptured more easily than other implants, affecting tens of thousands of women in the European Union, the U.K. and around the world.

Thousands of women have had the PIP implants replaced in France alone, with 4,000 reporting ruptures, according to the article. And the scandal set off a broader debate about Europe's approval process for medical devices, and a push to toughen the regulatory system continues.

France's preparation for the PIP trial is massive. As the story explains, over 5,000 women are plaintiffs in the case, represented by about 300 attorneys. And the trial itself has been moved to a larger venue, with three additional rooms from which people can watch the proceedings by video, enough to accommodate 1,500 people. The estimated cost of the whole effort: a little over $1 million.

- read The Telegraph's story

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