April 23, 2009
OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected a bid by thousands of women to sue Health Canada for negligence after leaking breast implants made them sick.
About 30,000 women had hoped to argue that Health Canada failed in its duty to test, ban or recall faulty implants. The top court, as is its usual practice, gave no reasons for refusing to hear the case.
Kirk Baert, the Toronto lawyer representing the women, says patients are on their own when both manufacturers and regulators fail to ensure products are safe. Dow Corning breast implants remained in use from 1969 until 1992 – despite studies showing they were prone to rupture.
Mr. Baert says federal regulators have never been held to account for their failures – and provincial health plans have had to pay the price.
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