Friday, 14 February 2014

New rules regarding the cosmetic industry are described by plastic surgeons as being "appalling"


Ministers have announced that it will become illegal to offer dermal fillers without any training. However, surgeons have said that the decision not to classify them as prescription only has been labelled a “missed opportunity”.

Current law surrounding the cosmetic industry has recently undergone major scrutiny in light of the current PIP faulty breast implant scandal.

The cosmetic procedures industry has become dominated by non-surgical procedures including fillers and Botox, which holds 75% of the current market according to BBC News.

 

Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS in England, warned fillers could cause lasting harm, however, they were only covered by the same level of regulation as ball point pens and toothbrushes.

He described it as a crisis waiting to happen and they should become prescription only.

 

BBC news reported that cosmetic surgery and interventions became an issue during one of the biggest health scares to face the industry – surrounding substandard breast implants made by the French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) – when a lack of records kept by surgeons meant women did not know if they were affected.

At the time there was also criticism of “win a boob job” competitions, mother-daughter offers and time restricted deals on surgery.

Ministers say other measures being announced will improve the whole industry including:

  • A registry of breast implants to prevent a repeat of PIP.
  • A review into a system of redress if things go wrong with treatment.
  • More rigorous consent process to let patients have time to fully consider their decision to have surgery.
  • A clamp down on irresponsible advertising with the help of the Advertising Standards Authority.
  • The Royal College of Surgeons should set standards for the training and practice of cosmetic surgery.

In a statement, Sir Bruce Keogh said: “This is the beginning of a journey, not the end, but I am confident these changes will create a much safer and skilled cosmetic industry which should reassure both consumers and practitioners.”

Lloyds Bank ruling gives new compensation hope for UK victims of faulty PIP breast implants


A British bank’s ruling could lead to thousands of pounds in compensation payments to women who paid for faulty PIP breast surgery on their credit cards.

British banks have already agreed to compensate women for the original cost of surgery under the Consumer Credit Act.

Now Lloyds Bank has agreed to go further and is advising claimants they could be granted compensation for the worry caused by the faulty implants and for further surgery to replace them. 

“This could be exceptionally good news for anyone who paid for surgery with a Lloyds TSB credit card,” said leading PIP compensation expert, Ashley Attwood of Attwood Solicitors.

“Lloyds are effectively taking primary responsibility for the faulty breast implants. This puts them on the same level as the clinic that did the surgery or their insurer. We are now challenging all British banks to follow Lloyds Bank’s example.

“We would advise anyone who used a credit card to contact a lawyer. Their initial claims were easy to resolve as the bank just paid back the cost of the surgery taken on a credit card.

“But judging how much victims are due for mental distress and related issues is far more complex and it is important that people take good legal advice before agreeing a settlement.”  

Stoke-on-Trent based Attwood Solicitors have been at the forefront of the fight for compensation for British victims caught up in the French PIP scandal.

Attwood Solicitors is the only UK law firm to partner with their French counterparts to win compensation for victims in the French courts.

Attwood Solicitors says the victory in the French courts has paved the way for as many as 50,000 British women to join the French proceedings and seek compensation in France. French lawyers are seeking compensation of up to €30,000 per claimant.

John Farrow, Head of the PIP litigation at Attwood Solicitors, said the court decision against TÜV Rhineland gives a genuine opportunity for compensation for victims who have so far been unable to claim.

Mr Farrow said that anyone, regardless of when or where they had the PIP implants, is still now potentially able to make a claim in the French legal action and he urged potential clamants to contact Attwood Solicitors before the Appeal is heard later this year.

The scandal broke in 2010, after a large percentage of women with the implants suffered from the implants rupturing. Subsequently, the founder of PIP (Poly Implant Prosthese), Jean-Claude Mas, has been convicted in France of fraud.

For advice on the PIP implants issue please contact Attwood Solicitors on 01782 416016 (email pip@attwoodsolicitors.co.uk).

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Attwood Clients who are part of the French litigation are to be awarded an interim payment of 3,400 euros

Attwood solicitors are pleased to announce the successful outcome of the hearing on 20th December regarding the proceeding against TUV Rheinland in France. The hearing intended to determine whether the interim payment of 3,400 euros was to be paid pending the appeal lodged by TUV.
 

TUV Rheinland were the body that awarded EU safety certificates to the French implant manufacturer and were described by the courts as having “neglected its duties of vigilance”.
 

TUV argued that no payments should be made until after the appeal had been decided, however, we are pleased to say that the court disagreed and has awarded payment forthwith. The actual timing of the payment is unclear at present, however, all Attwood clients will be advised accordingly.
 

Jan Spivey, a British woman who received PIP implants in 2002 told the BBC’s Newshour programme that she was “delighted” with the ruling. Following on to say;

"Of course TUV has some responsibility and should be held to account. They're the organisation that gives the CE certification for safety, and that was what my surgeon relied on when he gave the implants to me.

"Anybody that gives safety certification for a product that is going to make women very sick does have responsibility,"
 

Attwood solicitors would like to invite any new claimants to now join the process. If you or a family member are interested in joining these proceedings then please contact us on our dedicated email address pip@attwoodsolicitors.co.uk or call now 01782 416 016 or 0800 145 5105

 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

National Register for breast implant operations is aimed at cleaning up the industry


Ministers have announced that they are to establish a national register where every  breast implant operation in England is to be recorded.

This is in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the scandal in which tens of thousands of women received sub-standard PIP implants. In some cases, due to the poor manner in which records were kept, or in some cases where no records were kept at all, this meant that some surgeons were unable to inform their patients who were affected.

In future, under new government plans, the NHS and some private companies will trial the new system for registering the type of implant a woman is given, in the same way that the hip and knee operations are recorded on the National Joint Registry.

Health Minister for England, Dr Dan Poulter, told the BBC: “The PIP implant scandal has shone a light on what is sometimes a cowboy industry where there are some murky practices.”

In further measures, yet to be announced, ministers are calling for a ban on irresponsible marketing techniques such as offering ‘win a boob-job’ competitions and two for one offers – so called ‘mother and daughter deals’.

It is believed that the UK’s cosmetics industry is quietly booming and is forecast to be worth £3.6bn by 2015.

Dr Dan Poulter added further, "That sort of marketing is irresponsible because it can change the way a woman looks for the rest of their life and we need to see greater responsibility from the cosmetic industry in how they advertise themselves, and we're going to clamp down."

An anonymous client of Attwood Solicitors stated that “My main concern is that this is a great move forward for the cosmetic industry, however, what about the women who are affected now? How will the government be helping them?”

Mr Simon Withey, a consultant plastic surgeon who was also part of the panel which reviewed the industry, told the BBC how he disagreed with it being described as a “cowboy industry” and that he believes the majority of surgeons are excellent.

However, he  added that the new breast implant register was “exactly the right thing to do”.

For free advice on the PIP implants issue please contact Attwood Solicitors on 0800 145 5105 (e-mail enquiries@attwoodsolicitors.co.uk).

 

Friday, 30 March 2012

Medical negligence lawyer welcomes Commons Health Committee report attacking Government stance on faulty breast implants

A major report by MPs criticising the Government’s stance over the PIP breast implant scandal has been welcomed by a leading medical negligence lawyer.

Ashley Attwood has been a vocal critic of the Government’s failure to order the replacement of the faulty French implants on the NHS.

Mr Attwood, who has offered advice to thousands of women caught up in the scandal, said: “The House of Commons Health
Committee report says to put women through two surgical procedures when one would do flies in the face of commonsense.

“This report must be welcomed and acted upon. We are offering advice to clients throughout the country and believe they should be given the necessary surgery if their private clinic will not help them.”

Mr Attwood is Principal Solicitor at Attwood Solicitors of Stoke-on-Trent.

Along with colleagues, Mr Attwood has regularly given advice since the PIP scandal broke at the beginning of 2012, using a blog and the media to offer assistance to the estimated 47,000 English victims.

Thousands of women in the UK are known to have been fitted with implants made from low industrial grade silicon.

The Welsh Parliament has agreed to free replacement, but this is not the case in England.

For advice on the PIP implants issue please contact Attwood Solicitors on 0800 145 5105 (e-mail enquiries@attwoodsolicitors.co.uk).

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Lloyds TSB reimburse credit card holder for faulty PIP breast implants

Please click here to view the latest press release from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) about the Lloyds TSB PIP implant patient who had the full cost of her original breast augmentation reimbursed by the credit card company; setting a recourse for a proportion of victims.

BAAPS President Fazel Fatah says,
"It is a shame that many of the clinics that most commonly used these devices are still refusing to replace them free of cost, but this development should at least offer a ray of hope to many of their patients."
Attwood Solicitors would like to make you aware that, even if you decide to make a claim under your credit cardyou may still be entitled to receive compensation for consequential losses arising from the upset you may have suffered from the press coverage and the suggestion the implants are faulty owing to a high leak/rupture rate and made with inappropriate material; cost of removal; cost of replacement; psychological upset caused by having to have further surgery; physical injury due to having to have further surgery and convalescence losses, such as loss of pay or holidays due to having to undertake further surgery.

For more information, please contact Attwood Solicitors on 0800 326 5203 or e-mail enquiries@attwoodsolicitors.co.uk.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Interview from Body Language Journal

Ashley Attwood, from Attwood Solicitors, discusses how PIP patients are poised to succeed with their claims of faulty implants and consequential damages.
We believe women who have had PIP implants within the last six years will be eligible to make a claim pursuant to breach of contract. Those fitted with implants pre-2006 onwards should have a right to compensation because they have suffered an injury. 
It is estimated around 40,000 women in the UK have PIP implants–about 95% were fitted privately. 
On 31 March 2010, the MHRA issued an urgent medical device alert advising practitioners not to use PIP implants and patients with PIP implants to contact their surgeon. 
Under contract law, there is an obligation for the implants to be replaced.

We are pursuing claims against the clinics that fitted the PIP implants, because the surgery to fit the breast implants can be classified as a contract between the surgeon and the patient. 
Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act (SGSA)1982, goods supplied under these contracts must be of “satisfactory quality”, which means that the goods must meet “the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of any description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other relevant circumstances”. 
We maintain that women with PIP implants are entitled not only to a free replacement but also to compensation for consequential losses arising from the upset they may have suffered from the press coverage and the suggestion the implants are faulty owing to a high leak/rupture rate and made with inappropriate material; cost of removal; cost of replacement; psychological upset caused by having to have further surgery; physical injury due to having to have further surgery and convalescence losses, such as loss of pay or holidays due to having to undertake further surgery. 
Expert witness and psychologist Hugh Koch says any litigation will need to take into account the psychological implications of implant removal and that professional treatment should be sought if this does not resolve itself within a short period. 
To succeed in a claim, it must be proven that the implants were of unsatisfactory quality. The questions we need to ask are: would a reasonable person either buy, or regard as satisfactory, implants containing non-medical materials? Would a rational person take a gamble with unknown and untested fillings? 
According to the law commissioner, David Hertzell, if goods are of unsatisfactory quality, then the consumer is entitled, within a reasonable time, to a repair or replacement in accordance with section 11M of the SGSA 1982, unless this would be disproportionate. This right originates from the 1999 Consumer Sales Directive (1999/44/EC) and the choice is the consumer’s. 
Again, when pursuing claims resulting from PIP implants, claimants would be seeking to recover the cost of the removal/replacement surgery, plus the other consequential losses, as highlighted.
Consideration must be given to the limitation period. Anyone who has had their surgery within the last six years should be entitled to compensation. Anyone who has had their surgery pre-2006, but who has suffered ruptured/leaked implants within the last three years, are also likely to receive compensation.
Claimants can await the outcome of their claim before undergoing the removal/replacement surgery, or if they choose to undergo the new surgery now, our intention is to attempt to recover the cost of it, plus any consequential damages as part of their claim.
Interview published in Body Language – The UK Journal of Medical Aesthetics and Anti-Ageing.

For more advice on the PIP Implants issue, please contact Attwood Solicitors on 0800 145 5105 or e-mail (enquiries@attwoodsolicitors.co.uk).