Lucy Squire of Slee Blackwell’s PIP Implant Action Group reports on recent developments.
The volume of new PIP implant compensation enquiries we are receiving shows no sign of abating. Women who have had PIP implants fitted have been turning to specialist cosmetic surgery solicitors like ourselves in their thousands, seeking advice on what they should do and whether PIP compensation will be available to help them.
Dedicated all-female PIP Legal Team
We now have a dedicated team of female lawyers in place, offering PIP implant victims free legal advice and dealing with PIP compensation claims on a no win - no fee basis. The legal action group is led by experienced cosmetic surgery solicitor Samantha Robson and includes solicitor Emily Hockin, Legal Executive Naomi Ireson, paralegal Caroline Hudson as well as myself.
Slee Blackwell PIP Action Group in Association with 7 Bedford Row
To assist our clients we have now teamed up with highly experienced clinical negligence and personal injury barristers, Leslie Keegan and Hugh Preston of prestigious London chambers, 7 Bedford Row. Samantha has forged strong links with 7 Bedford Row over the years and is confident that our relationship will ensure that PIP clients receive the very best specialist legal advice and representation. In 2000, 7 Bedford Row became one of the first barristers sets to be awarded the prestigious BarMark. In 2004, the chambers won the Legal Services Commission’s Quality Mark award
PIP Claim Case Action Plan
Following a conference with Leslie Keegan on 24 January 2012 we have put in place a detailed case action plan for the PIP implant victims we are representing. For reasons of confidentiality it would be wrong of us to outline our plan in detail at this stage on a public forum. However we feel able to release several key points:
- We shall be investigating PIP compensation claims against the clinics in the UK who fitted our clients with their defective PIP implants, and bringing claims for both negligence and breach of contract.
- The legal claims will be based on the medical alert that was issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in March and June 2000 stating that during a visit to the PIP plant 11 deviations from “good manufacturing practises” had been found.
- We shall also be relying on the fact that in December 2000 the UK Medical Devices Agency issued an alert over PIP’s hydrogel implants and the product was subsequently withdrawn from the market.
- Reference will be made to articles published in several respected medical and academic journals
Implant Guarantees wont undermine PIP Compensation Claims
A number of our clients have raised concerns that as the PIP implants were only guaranteed for a limited period, the clinics may argue that they would have needed to be replaced in any event. However, we believe that the length of the guarantee is not relevant to a woman’s right to bring a PIP compensation claim. Most women we have spoken to want to have their defective PIP implants removed regardless of whether they have ruptured or leaked. It is entirely reasonable that victims of this scandal should want to do so and we will fight to claim the cost of removal and replacement surgery from the clinics as part of the PIP compensation claim process. Clients can also claim for the ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’ of having to undergo the additional surgery.
Compensation for PIP Psychiatric Injury
It is important for women making a PIP claim to bear in mind the fact that even if the implants don’t cause actual damage, the worry of them leaking could be sufficient to cause mental distress and psychiatric injury, for which compensation can be claimed. Our PIP legal team can talk this through with you if you think it applies.
PIP Limitation Worries – Some Good News
Finally, some women have expressed concern that they may be out of time to bring a PIP claim against the clinics because the surgery was carried out some years ago. There has been a great deal of uncertainty about this but we can offer assurance to most PIP victims that their PIP compensation claim will not be statute barred. Every case needs to be assessed individually so if you are in any doubt whatsoever give one of our PIP action group lawyers a call and we will assess the limitation issue for you
Contact a Member of the PIP Legal Team
Call us on Freephone 0808 139 1606
Or email us at: