MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - A French appeals court has ordered German certification agency TÜV Rheinland to pay 60 million euros ($65.50 million) immediately to 20,000 victims of faulty breast implants produced by the French company PIP prior to its closure.
Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), the French company at the center of the scandal, sold implants globally for over two decades until investigators discovered it was passing off low-grade industrial silicone as a much pricier medical product.
The ruling confirmed a previous decision by the administrative court in the southern French city of Toulon, which ordered TÜV in January to pay 3,000 euros ($3,200) to each plaintiff in a giant class action case concerning 20,000 victims across 14 countries.
TÜV Rheinland said in a statement that it would make provisional payments given today's decision.
"It is important to emphasize that parties who receive interim payments will have to repay the sums if TÜV Rheinland wins an appeal," the company said, referring to a separate appeals process in the case.
Reporting by Jean-Francois Rosnoblet; Writing by Maya Nicolaeva; Editing by Bate Felix