Sybil Niden Goldrich
Ernest Hornsby, Esq.
Dianna Pendleton-Dominguez, Esq.
CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE E-NEWSLETTER
Volume 4, No. 8, October 12, 2007
This is the 38nd e-newsletter (Vol. 4, No. 8) from the Claimants' Advisory Committee (CAC) in the Dow Corning bankruptcy Settlement Plan. You were sent a copy of the newsletter because our records show that you requested to be on the mailing list. If you wish to unsubscribe or to reply to this newsletter, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not hit “Reply” to this email address. Please use the email address: email@example.com.
Requests for copies of claim forms or inquiries about the status of a claim should be directed to the Settlement Facility at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-874-6099. The Claimants’ Advisory Committee does not have access to individual claimant files to answer these kinds of questions.
1. HEARING SET FOR OCTOBER 18, 2007
The Court will hold a hearing on October 18, 2007 in Detroit, Michigan beginning at 9 a.m. EDT on several pending motions:
||Motion to Strike Certain Submissions and Arguments of CAC and Plaintiffs’ Counsel from the Record in Connection with the Disability Level A Proceedings by DCC (Document # 434);
||Motion to Compel by Clients of Siegel, Kelleher & Kahn (Document # 538);
||Motion to Expedite and for Consideration of Extension to Cure Rupture Deficiencies by a Claimant (Document #553);
||Plaintiffs’ Motion for Consideration to Compel the Acceptance of Expert Affidavits in Regards to Proof of Rupture Claims by Clients of Weitz & Luxenberg (Document #556);
||Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by C. Holstein (Document #572 and 578); and
||Consent Order to Establish Guidelines for Distribution From, and to Clarify the Allocation of, the Covered Other Products Fund (Document #549).
2. PENDING MOTIONS
There are several motions filed by the CAC that have been argued and are pending before the Court. We do not have any information about when a ruling will be issued:
||Motion of CAC to Interpret the Amended Joint Plan Regarding The Definition of “Breast Implant” (i.e., whether a tissue expander is included in the definition of “breast implant”);
||Motion of CAC to Interpret the Annex A, The Claims Resolution Procedures, Schedule II, Part B, General Criteria A – Tolling of 24 Months/5 Year Period for Disease Option 2 claims;
||Motion by CAC for the Disclosure of Substantive Criteria Created, Adopted, and/or Being Applied by the SF-DCT (i.e, the Disability A issue of vocation “and/or” self-care); and
||CAC Motion for Declaratory Judgment regarding the “release” documents obtained by Dow Corning from 1992 – 1995 (oral argument was postponed on this and is being rescheduled).
In addition, the motion filed by the MDL 926 Settlement Fund asserting a lien against certain claimants in the SF-DCT was argued on September 29, 2007 and was taken under advisement by the Court.
We do not know when the court will issue a ruling. We will promptly report on any rulings we receive.
3. REMINDER: SF-DCT RELEASES CLAIMS CRITERIA INFORMATION FOR POLYMYOSITIS AND DERMATOMYOSITIS CLAIMS
Pursuant to an “Agreed Order Resetting Final Disease Cure Deadlines” entered by the Court on June 15, 2007, the SF-DCT has released claims criteria information for two eligible diseases in the Plan: Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis. A copy of the document is available on the CAC website (www.tortcomm.org) under the heading “Disease Claims” or on the SF-DCT website (www.sfdct.com).
The next scheduled release of information will be on November 1, 2007 concerning Primary Sjogren’s Syndrome (PSS), Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) and Overlap Syndrome. We are also working with the SF-DCT about release of general disease and disability guideline information and hope to have that available soon.
4. UPDATE ON NOI CLAIMS SETTLEMENT STATUS
No appeals were filed concerning the settlement of the Notice of Intent or “NOI” claims issue. This means that the SF-DCT is now authorized to mail notice of the settlement to all affected claimants, and to begin processing and paying Explant and Rupture claims for NOI claimants. If you want to notify the SF-DCT that you wish to accept the settlement, you can download the “NOI Acceptance Form” on our website (www.tortcomm.org and click on the heading “Notice of Intent/Rule 3005 Issues) and return it to the SF-DCT. Once they receive your form, the SF-DCT will place any claims you have already filed in line for review.
REMINDER: The deadline for timely NOI claimants covered by the settlement to apply for Explant and Rupture benefits is October 20, 2008. This means that timely NOI claimants who want to recover for Explant ($5,000 U.S.) and/or Rupture ($20,000 U.S. Base Payment) must have their Dow Corning breast implants removed and their claim forms submitted to the SF-DCT by October 20, 2008. Please note that this deadline applies ONLY to NOI claimants. It does not apply to timely filed claimants.
5. CLAIMS BACKLOG
Class 5 and 6 POM, Explant and Rupture Processing – The SF-DCT informs us that it is substantially current on review of Proof of Manufacturer, Explant and Rupture claims in Classes 5 and 6 (Dow Corning breast implant claims).
Class 5 and 6 Disease Processing – Disease Option 1 currently has a wait time of 5-6 months for new claims to be processed (first reviews), although this is a snapshot in time that is dependent on the number of new claims filed each month, the number of re-reviews submitted to cure deficiencies, and the number of available reviewers. The SF-DCT has devoted most of its reviewers to processing claims in this option. As of August 31, 2007, approximately 25,000 Disease Option 1 claims have been reviewed, and approximately 18,000 Disease Option 1 claims have been approved and paid.
In September 2007, 5 full-time reviewers and 1 part-time reviewer were moved from Disease Option 1 claims to review Disease Option 2 claims. This was done in an effort to address the backlog of claims in Disease Option 2. At this time, the SF-DCT is processing Lupus or SLE claims submitted in July 2005, Scleroderma claims submitted in April 2006, and PM/DM claims submitted in May 2006. As of August 31, 2007, approximately 3,000 Disease Option 2 claims have been reviewed, and approximately 525 Disease Option 2 claims have been approved and paid. The SF-DCT expects increased productivy in reviewing Disease Option 2 claims by the end of October 2007 as a result of switching 6 reviewers to this option.
We are continuing to work with the Claims Administrator to have disease claims reviewed more promptly. A new class of reviewers will be trained starting January 2008. Our goal – and that of the SF-DCT -- is to substantially reduce the backlog of claims ASAP, and we will be monitoring this closely.
Class 7 Claims Processing – A total of 54,534 claims in Class 7 were received by the SF-DCT. Of these, 10,968 claimants were mailed a check and/or payment offer. Approximately 29,301 have been classified as “ineligible” by the SF-DCT based on an ineligible implant, their MDL or opt-out payment exceeds the amount they could recover from Class 7, and/or the claimant did not timely marshal. The SF-DCT is reviewing the Proof of Manufacturer submission on the remaining claims to determine if the claimant has an eligible implant. Claimants with eligible implants will be mailed either an Expedited Release Payment ($600 U.S.) if they elected this option, or a Disease Cash-Out check and offer ($3,000 U.S.). To date, the Class 7 Fund has paid approximately $14 million in claims.
6. PRODUCT ID ISSUES
If your product ID was based on a report by Dr. Middleton or Dr. Blais and has been denied based on the circumstances described below, please send us a copy of the report and SF-DCT rejection letter (if you have not already done so). We are reviewing a particular set of product ID claims where both Dr. Middleton and Dr. Blais believe that the unique identifiers apply to Dow Corning breast implants, but the unique identifiers are not on the list of acceptable DCC identifiers. The implants were manufactured between 1972 and 1973 approximately, have a back patch with a Dacron® mesh reinforced silicone elastomer, with an approximately 12 mm Dacron® mesh reinforced disc internal to that. The design is identified as either from the 570, 540-S or the 590 series. Please email the documents to email@example.com, by fax to 419-394-1748 or by regular mail to: CAC, P.O. Box 665, St. Marys, OH 45885.
7. DEADLINE REMINDERS!
Please mark your calendar with the claim submission deadlines. Please note that most of these deadlines mean that your claim forms and materials must be received by the SF-DCT by the posted deadline. Please mail all forms early enough so that they are received by the deadline listed below. If your claim form is not received by the deadline listed below, you will not be permitted to file a claim later.
||Type of Deadline
|October 20, 2008
||NOI CLAIMANTS’ Deadline to submit Explant and/or Rupture claims – Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2
|June 2, 2014
||Explant Claims submission deadline for Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2
|June 3, 2019
||Disease or Expedited Release Claim submission deadline for Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2
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Claimants’ Advisory Committee
P.O. Box 665
St. Marys, Ohio 45885
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