Mediator : a penalty of a billion euros ? - The Point

The trial of the Mediator is entered on Monday in its 28th week. In the meantime the requisitions of the parquet floor that must be exposed, in front of the cor

Mediator : a penalty of a billion euros ? - The Point

The trial of the Mediator is entered on Monday in its 28th week. In the meantime the requisitions of the parquet floor that must be exposed, in front of the correctional court of Paris on 23 and 24 June next, the lawyers for the civil parties succeed each other at the bar since a few days to ask, in the name of the victim, repairing the harm done by this so-called medicine. After the examination of the personality of the accused, on June 8, and the testimony of Olivier Laureau, president of laboratoires Servier, who expressed his regret for the "tragedy considerable," what has caused this derivative of amphetamine, and presented as an antidiabetic, the lawyers of the civil parties argued since the 9th of June to the 31st room.

According to various studies conducted by the health authorities, more than 500 consumers in the Mediator died from diseases directly caused by the molecule-toxic and comes in its active principle (the benfluorex). But this figure would be largely under-estimated, according to the pulmonologist Irene Frachon, who has played a major role in the withdrawal from the market of this toxic product in 2009. More than 4,000 men and women who have consumed the Mediator have, moreover, had to be hospitalized(e)s and often operated(s)to problems of valvular heart disease and/or hypertension. Again, an underestimate, according to the experts, since the number of consumers of the Mediator during the thirty-three years of its commercialization in excess of 5 million.

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More than 10,000 people have filed an application for compensation before the administrative courts or civil, but also via the Office national d'indemnisation des accidents médicaux). However, only half of them are brought before the correctional court in this case. For "aggravated tort of deceit" or to " injury and manslaughter ", sometimes for two reasons. Many were the sick to accept the transactions proposed by the advocates of the laboratory Servier.

4 600 civil parties, 450 lawyers

As explained by the lawyer, Dominique Laurier, came to bring the word of 74 victims on June 15, " many of the sick did not come (to the criminal) because they were in a hurry to turn the page and doubts on the outcome of a trial, endless ". 4 600 people would expect no less eagerly for the decision of the court in this trial-river begun on the 23rd of September and are interrupted for two and a half months because of the confinement. The number of civil parties and describes the impressive procession of black robes that is the successor to the bar for a week. Nearly 450 lawyers involved in the case from the Mediator.

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Since a week, therefore, the victims strung out, one after the other, the demands of their customers. These totaled around eur 100 000 per person all at once for the repair of the bodily injury suffered and for the prejudice of anxiety that is the sword of Damocles that hangs over their head because of the pathologies associated with the decision of the Mediator. If the court enters a pathway of condemnation, this will represent a budget of 460 million euros, to which shall be added the € 450 million requested by the health insurance companies and mutual insurance companies who believe they have been escroquées paying off, for three decades, the Mediator.

Georges Holleaux has a long exposition, on 16 June, "the maneuvers deployed by Jacques Servier" to obtain the reimbursement of the Mediator by the social Security. Referring to a symposium decisive in Nassau (Bahamas) in 1971, but also the fact that " (l)es studies proving the dangerousness of the molecule have been continuously suppressed in each of the seven applications for renewal of authorisation of the placing on the market of this poison ", the lawyer explained that the group Servier had acted intentionally to thwart the devices of pharmacovigilance hex.

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beyond the deception of the sick on the alleged benefits (and especially the lack of harmfulness) of the Mediator, "the lies, cover-ups and manipulations" of the pharmaceutical industry have contributed to degrade " the confidence of the French in the health insurance system, patients taking the view that the current system was not able to protect them while the complementary health have no means of control in the matter, " pleaded Helen Lecat, lawyer of six mutual group VYV. This is the reason for which it claimed, in addition to the refund strictly to the amounts paid by its customers, 100 000 euros in damages and additional interest in respect of the moral prejudice.

Read also How the Mediator does it cost to the social Security and mutuals ?

One billion euros in damages

on The 17th of January, several organizations have also filed, on their behalf, requests for damages and interest. Christophe Donnette, representing the Association of assistance to the victims of the accidents of medicine (AAAVAM) assesses the collective harm suffered by members of his movement to one million euros. The association UFC-que Choose, by the voice of his council, to Me, Erkia Nasry, has, for its part, requested five million euros. "At one euro per consumer of the Mediator, including those who have not been able to appeal to justice. This money will not be used to enrich the association but will be reinvested in our publications, and judicial actions at the service of consumers ", stressed the lawyer.

At the end of the arguments of the civil parties (who should intervene), 22 June, and on account of the costs of justice, the victims of which also require the refund, the total amount of damages sought will exceed one billion euros. "The amount may seem high in absolute value but still very bearable by a group that has 2 billion euros of cash ", argues Charles Joseph Oudin, counsel to more than 470 victims. Which adds : "If we want that such a scandal health does not happen again, it must be hit hard and the amount of the penalties does not leave the guilty one the feeling of being pulled, in spite of everything, a benefit of its actions. "

The fact of the statute of limitations, which reduced the period of prevention of the case in the period 1995-2009, while the Mediator is marketed since 1976, " the court must keep in mind that a loot important has been raised by the group Servier prior to the outbreak of legal action ", has, for its part, stressed the lawyer Philippe Lecat.

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An "error of appreciation" for the defence

in their defence, the labs put in before they proceeded to the compensation of 3 837 patients for a total amount of 192,68 million euros, of which 162,71 million has already been paid as at may 29, 2020. Their lawyers will deliver their own pleadings from the 29th of June. Their projects to conclusion, sent the last weekend, to their colleagues, continue to highlight the fact that the group Servier would not have lied knowingly, but only the author of an "error of judgement" on the dangerousness of the Mediator.

The group's advice Servier argue also a very large number of arguments in procedural to try to reduce a sentence after a trial that some of the company's executives seem to always be considered as resulting from a "conspiracy" anti-Servier. On the 8th of June, Beatrice Guardiola, the former scientific director of the group (but still a consultant of the laboratories), did not hesitate to alpaguer some of the journalists present for their criticized for their bias in this case. Words that echo those spoken to multiple times by Jacques Servier himself, who seemed convinced that its concerns judicial stemmed mainly from the malice of its competitors.

Read also our folder, Mediator, anatomy of a scandal health

Updated Date: 17 June 2020, 14:33

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