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Breast Implant CEO Gets Jail Time

Brian Buntz

December 10, 2013

2 Min Read
Breast Implant CEO Gets Jail Time

Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of faulty breast implant maker Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) has been sentenced to four years in jail after a French court found him guilty of fraud--the maximum sentence for that charge. Mas was also fined EUR75,000 ($103,000). The company, which was founded in 1991, created a global scare after it was revealed that the implants were made with industrial-grade silicone designed to fill mattresses. More than 125,000 women have undergone surgery to have the implants removed, as they are prone to rupture. The implants, when ruptured, can lead to scar tissue formation and can cause pain and irritation. In addition, ruptured implants can potentially be difficult for surgeons to extract. Last year, the UK's NHS Medical Director released a report that found that the material released from the PIP implants was not toxic and nor carcinogenic. The report did concede that the implants can rupture and cause irritation:

It is now clear that PIP implants are more likely than other implants to rupture early, and that some patients who experience implant rupture will develop a local reactions to silicone. In line with good clinical practice those surgeons and clinics that have used PIP implants have a responsibility to take proactive steps to contact their former patients and to share with them the latest information regarding the health implication, including the evidence summarised in the report.

In all, an estimated 300,000-400,000 women located across the globe are thought to have received PIP implants. At one point, PIP was the third-biggest maker of breast implants in the world. The company sold its implants for about a decade. PIP's misdeeds have helped fuel efforts to reform the European regulatory framework for medical devices. Mas, who is 74-years-old, also was ordered to pay more than 4000 women up to EUR13,000 euros apiece for pain and suffering and physical injury.

Former PIP CEO Jean-Claude Mas has received jail time.

Former PIP CEO Jean-Claude Mas has received jail time.

The court in Marseille also found that PIP deceived product inspector TÜV Rheinland, sending them falsified documents and enabling them to inspect a shadow production line. Mas has also been charged in a separate case that alleges his involvement in manslaughter and financial fraud. Mas's attorney, Yves Haddad, plans on appealing the ruling. In any event, it is unlikely that the company will be able to pay victims substantial sums of money. Mas is insolvent and his company went bankrupt in 2010.

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