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Founder of French breast implant company goes on trial

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 6:56 AM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
Reporters wait outside the courthouse on April 16, 2013 at the Parc Chanot in Marseille, southern France.
Reporters wait outside the courthouse on April 16, 2013 at the Parc Chanot in Marseille, southern France.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jean Claude Mas and four others are on trial in France over controversial breast implants
  • Mas, who founded Poly Implant Prothese, or PIP, is accused of causing involuntary injury
  • PIP implants were banned in 2010, and the company went bankrupt later that year
  • Mas has consistently denied any wrongdoing and says his products were safe

(CNN) -- The founder of a French company that made controversial breast implants has gone on trial, accused of fraud and causing involuntary injury.

Proceedings against Jean Claude Mas, who founded Poly Implant Prothese, or PIP, and four others connected to the company continued Thursday, a day after the trial opened in Marseille.

A woman claimant in the case told CNN affiliate BFM-TV that she hoped to be able to speak during the trial "to make him (Mas) understand all he's made us suffer, everything we've felt in the past three years because of him."

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Mas has consistently denied any wrongdoing, insisting that his products were perfectly safe.

He was arrested in January of last year in connection with an investigation after the 2010 cancer death of a French woman with PIP implants.

An estimated 300,000 women in 65 countries received breast implants from the company. The implants were banned in 2010, and the company went bankrupt later that year.

The implants are not approved for use in the United States.

The French government said last year that it would pay for the removal of PIP implants for women in France.

A British Department of Health study published last June found that the PIP implants do not cause cancer and aren't toxic, but that they do have a high rupture rate.

The implants are "clearly substandard," and are "significantly more likely to rupture or leak silicone than other implants," the report found.

READ MORE: Breast implant scandal: What went wrong?

CNN's Atika Shubert contributed to this report.

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