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France will launch one of its biggest-ever trials on Wednesday as five managers from company PIP face fraud charges for allegedly selling faulty breast implants that sparked global health fears.
Here is how the health scare and criminal investigation unfolded:
-- 2010 --
- March 30: PIP is shut down and its product banned after it was revealed to have been using non-authorised silicone gel that caused abnormally high rupture rates of its implants.
- June 10: 500 women who received the implants file a legal complaint against PIP in the southern city of Marseille, near its corporate headquarters.
- September 28-29: French health authorities call for increased monitoring of PIP implants.
-- 2011 --
- December 8: Prosecutors in Marseille open a preliminary investigation into the implants following the death of a woman from breast cancer.
- December 20: Media reports emerge that French medical authorities will tell 30,000 women who received defective implants to have them removed after eight cases of cancer emerge.
- December 23: France's health ministry advises women with breast implants made by PIP to have them removed as, while there is no proven cancer risk, they could rupture dangerously.
In the following days, authorities in Latin America and Europe also urge women to have the implants checked.
- December 27: The US Food and Drug Administration says it warned the French firm of "serious" quality control violations involving saline implants in 2000.
-- 2012 --
- January 5: PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas admits to using cheaper, industrial-grade gel in the implants but says they pose "no health risk whatsoever".
- January 17: The World Health Organisation recommends women have the implants checked for possible ruptures.
- January 27: Mas and Claude Couty, PIP's former general manager, are charged. Three other former employees are charged in late February.
- March 6: Mas is jailed for failing to pay his 100,000 euros bail.
- October 29: Mas is released pending trial.
-- 2013 --
- January 30: German safety standards firm TUV Rheinland, which gave the implants the all-clear, is sued by PIP distributors from Bulgaria, Brazil, Italy, Syria, Mexico and Romania, as well as thousands of victims, for more than 50 million euros ($66 million).
- April 12: Health safety authorities report that nearly 15,000 French women have had the PIP implants removed.