Thousands of people across the globe had implants made by the company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) when it was revealed the products were prone to rupture, and contained unauthorised material.
“The civil liability insurance of breast implant producer PIP could validly be limited to women who underwent surgery in France,” Michal Bobek, an advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), has now said.
Jan Spivey from the PIP Action Campaign Group, told The Independent thousands of UK women rallying against these implants should not be affected by such a decision.
Their claims are against a German safety body called TUV rather than insurers, she said.
Evidence has shown PIP implants are more likely to split than other types due to unapproved silicone gel, causing devastating health problems for some women.
Symptoms can include swelling, pain and a burning sensation in breasts, as well as enlarged lymph nodes, according to the NHS.
Nearly half of women with PIP implants said they suffered from depression in a 2014 survey by PIP Action Campaign Group.
The advocate general’s comments came after a German patient sought compensation from Allianz IARD, the manufacturer’s French insurer, in a German court for faulty PIP implants.
This insurance only covered the company for damage caused in France, the Court of Justice said.
In his non-binding opinion, Mr Bobek said France is allowed to “introduce a higher level of protection for patients and users of medical devices through more favourable insurance policies applying on its territory”.
The court, which will rule on the issue in the coming months, usually follows the opinions of its advisers in four out of five cases.
Around 300,000 women are thought to have been fitted with the implants — which have now been discontinued globally — during reconstructive or cosmetic surgery.
PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas was sent to prison for four years and fined €75,000 in 2013 after a police investigation revealed a sophisticated fraud and his company shut down in 2010.
Additional reporting by Reuters