PIP scan­dal: pro­s­pect of a dama­ge award diminished

Ger­man pati­ents who recei­ved defec­ti­ve breast implants from the French manu­fac­tu­rer Poly Implant Pro­t­hè­se SA (PIP) face the pro­s­pect of losing their fight for com­pen­sa­ti­on befo­re the Euro­pean Court of Jus­ti­ce as well. While a judgment has yet to be issued, we do have the Opi­ni­on of the ECJ Advo­ca­te Gene­ral.

This Opi­ni­on con­cludes that the French lia­bi­li­ty insurer is not requi­red to cover inju­ries sus­tained by non-French vic­tims. Tra­di­tio­nal­ly, the ECJ’s judgments often con­form to the Advo­ca­te General’s opi­ni­ons. The insu­rance com­pa­ny in this case invo­kes a ter­ri­to­ri­al clau­se in the manufacturer’s insu­rance poli­cy which limits covera­ge to los­ses occur­ring in France.

In its final judgment, the ECJ will have to deci­de whe­ther this clau­se, inclu­ding its adver­se effects for the Ger­man pati­ents who were denied covera­ge for their inju­ries, can be recon­ci­led with the EU’s pro­hi­bi­ti­on on dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on based on nationality.


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