Harley Medical Group Ireland not insured against use of industrial grade silicon in implants


A cosmetic surgery firm being sued by 158 Irish women worried that their breast implants could rupture, has said that its insurance does not extend to liability claims for products sourced from a third party, the Independent (Ireland) reports.

The revelation has thrown hundreds of legal actions into doubt.

Harley Medical Group Ireland, which used the controversial implants from French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), said that although it had prepared for a rupture rate of 3% after the scandal broke, the actual rupture rate for patients with PIP implants is now more than 8%.

In court papers, Harley Medical Group Ireland director Pierre Guillot said the firm’s potential debts could soar by “several million euros” as a result of the insurance issue.

About 1,500 women received cosmetic surgery at Irish clinics using implants containing industrial silicon gel – more commonly found in mattresses – from PIP. In all, Harley used PIP implants in about 1,100 operations out of the 1,500 total.

In a statement, the company said that Harley Medical Group Ireland had been lossmaking for some time and this could no longer be sustained.

“Regrettably, having considered options for the company in consultation with the shareholder, the directors have concluded that there is no viable alternative but to wind up the business.”