CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE E-NEWSLETTER
Dow Corning Bankruptcy Settlement
Volume 12, No. 4, May 26, 2015
Contact the CAC at: firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone: (419) 394-0717
fax: (419) 394-1748
Sybil Niden Goldrich
Ernest Hornsby, Esq
Dianna Pendleton-Dominguez, Esq.
This is the 122nd e-newsletter (Vol. 12, No. 4) 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, click here or to reply to this newsletter, send an email to: email@example.com. Please do not hit "Reply" to this email address. To contact the CAC, use the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also contact the CAC directly at 419-394-0717.
PROPOSED CLASS 7 CONSENT ORDER FILED WITH COURT
The Claimants' Advisory Committee and Dow Corning filed a proposed Consent Order for Class 7 – Silicone Gel Material Claims – asking the Court to authorize payments to approved disease claims in that Class. The Consent Order would allow approved disease claims to be paid immediately once the order is entered.
In addition, the Consent Order resolves a dispute between the parties regarding certain Class 7 claims that were previously denied by the SFDCT on the ground that the claimant had not "marshalled." Previously, the SF-DCT denied many Class 7 claims because they did not believe the claimant had taken sufficient steps to recover money that they might have been eligible for in the Revised Settlement Program. The new Plan Interpretation agreed to by the parties provides that the SF-DCT will now review the previously denied claims to determine if the claimant could have received a similar disease recovery from the Revised Settlement Program. If she could not have recovered from the RSP based on her status in that settlement, then the SF-DCT will allow the claim to be reviewed in Class 7. For example:
● if a claimant was an "Other Registrant" in the RSP, then they were only allowed to file for a Long Term Disease Claim in the RSP. This is the equivalent of Disease Option 2 in the SFDCT. If the claimant did not file a claim for Long Term Benefits in the RSP, then the SF-DCT denied the claim in Class 7 based on the marshalling requirement. Under the new agreed Plan Interpretation in the Consent Order, the claimant is barred from applying for Disease Option 2 (because she could have applied for this disease in the RSP). However, the claim can be reviewed for Disease Option 1 in Class 7 because the claimant was not eligible to apply for the equivalent of Disease Option 1 in the RSP.
● if a claimant was a Current Claimant in the RSP, then they were allowed to choose between Fixed Benefits (Disease Option 1) and Long Term Benefits (Disease Option 2). Since they could have been compensated for their disease claim in the RSP under either of these disease options, they are not eligible for benefits from Class 7 because they have not marshaled.
There are many other examples, but the controlling factor will be whether a claimant could have received a disease payment from the RSP based on her status in that settlement. The SF-DCT will also apply a setoff for any amount a claimant previously received from the MDL, so if a claimant already recovered $10,000 from the RSP and is eligible for a disease payment of $12,000 from Class 7, she will receive the difference between these two amounts, or $2,000. Remember that Class 7 payments are capped at a maximum of 40% of the Base Payments for Disease for Class 5 claimants.
This Plan Interpretation will allow most of the previously denied marshaling claimants the ability to seek a disease payment in Class 7, subject to a set-off for any amount they received from the RSP or as an opt-out claimant in the RSP.
The SFDCT will send a short 2-page notice to claimants and attorneys of records informing them of the terms of the Consent Order. If there are no objections, then the Court will enter the Consent Order and claimants who already have an approved disease claim can be paid immediately. Eligible claimants whose claim was previously denied based on marshaling but who are now eligible based on the Plan Interpretation will receive a letter offering them either the Expedited Release Payment of $600 or, if they applied for a disease claim, a Cash-Out Offer for $3,000. If disease claimants reject the Cash-Out Offer, they can opt for a full review of their disease claim and payment up to 40% of the Disease Grid if approved, subject to any setoff for a prior recovery. This is the same treatment other Class 7 claims received. Over 90% of Class 7 claimants previously opted for a Cash-Out Payment.
A copy of the Consent Order will be available on the CAC's website, www.tortcomm.org.
STATUS OF PREMIUM PAYMENTS
There is no news on the status of Premium Payments. The ruling from the Court of Appeals is final and cannot be changed. The next step in this process is for the Finance Committee to make another recommendation to the District Court asking for approval to either complete the remaining Partial Premium Payments and/or to recommend the remainding 50% Premium Payment to be authorized. The Finance Committee is waiting on an analysis of this issue from the Independent Assessor, who is reviewing claims data and making projections about the availability of funds in the future. We expect to receive information on this in late summer / early fall 2015, and we will update everyone at that time.
REMINDER: EXPLANT ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FROM THE MDL-926 COMMON BENEFIT TRUST
If you need financial assistance to have your breast implants removed, and you were not already compensated from the RSP or the SFDCT, you may be able to receive financial assistance from the MDL Common Benefit Fund Trust. Please read the following information carefully. The program discussed below is NOT part of the Dow Corning Settlement Plan. We are providing this information to claimants and law firms as a courtesy.
Beginning April 8, 2015, a Notice of Interest Form is available for download at www.oplc.org, or upon request from the Program Administrator, James J. Condra. Mr. Condra may be reached at (205)252-6784 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Frequently Asked Questions about the program are posted at www.oplc.org. Please note that this program has limited available funds and may be modified or terminated at any time.
DO NOT SEND ANY DOCUMENTS TO THE SF-DCT OR THE CAC OR CALL EITHER OF THESE OFFICES ABOUT THE PROGRAM. THE MDL-926 PROGRAM IS NOT AFFILIATED IN ANY WAY WITH THE DOW CORNING SETTLEMENT PLAN.
The Insurance Coverage Assistance Program
If you are in need of explant surgery, but you have or may be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance coverage, the Insurance Coverage Assistance Program will be available to provide advice and assistance on how to assess this coverage. This program is to be operated by the National Center for Health Research, a consumer-oriented non-profit group in Washington, D.C., that has helped women seek insurance coverage for breast implant removal. The National Center currently operates the breastimplantinfo.org website. You may email them at email@example.com with your name and email address for more information, including their toll-free number. If you do not have access to email, you can call them at 202-223-4000.
This program is not affiliated with the Dow Corning Settlement Facility or Settlement Plan. The CAC is providing information about this resource as a courtesy to claimants who may need help accessing their insurance coverage. The Insurance Coverage Assistance Program cannot help claimants with their claims in the Dow Corning Settlement Plan because the deadline to submit a claim for Explantation expired in June 2014.
REMINDER: PLEASE KEEP YOUR ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION CURRENT WITH THE SF-DCT
Please remember to keep your contact information current with the SF-DCT, including any information about probate, attorney representation, and address / phone number / email address. Thousands and thousands of checks and award letters are returned to the SF-DCT every year because a claimant has moved and failed to update her new address with the SF-DCT. Do not assume that the Post Office will forward mail to you. They provide this forwarding service for a limited time; when that time has expired, the Post Office returns the mail to the sender and does not provide a forwarding address.
There are many other claimants who have an approved claim for payment, but the SF-DCT cannot locate them. If you move, make sure you notify the SF-DCT. Their contact information is:
SF-DCT or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.O. Box 52429 or by phone: 1-866-874-6099
Houston, TX 77052-2429
If you have any question about your claim or its status, please contact the Settlement Facility. The CAC does not have access to individual claimant files, so we cannot answer your questions about your claim details.
EXPEDITED RELEASE PAYMENTS
The Settlement Plan provides that any claimant who has acceptable proof that she had or has a Dow Corning breast implant is eligible to receive either a Disease Payment or an Expedited Release Payment. The deadline to file a claim for Disease or Expedited Release is June 3, 2019. If you decide to forego applying for a Disease Payment and you want to accept the Expedited Release Payment, simply complete and return the Disease/Expedited Release claim form and submit it to the Settlement Facility. For claimants in Class 5 (U.S.), the Expedited Release Payment is $2,000. For claimants in Class 6.1, the payment is $1,200, and for claimants in Class 6.2, the payment is $700. Remember, you must first submit and have your Proof of Manufacturer determined as acceptable, and, if you request and accept the Expedited Release Payment, this forever settles your Disease claim and you will not be eligible for any further Disease benefits (including Premium Payments on the Disease claim) in the future.
The Disease / Expedited Release claim form is available on the CAC website (www.tortcomm.org) or on the SF-DCT website (http://www.sfdct.com/_sfdct/index.cfm/how-to-file-a-claim-for-benefits/claim-forms-by-class/). The Proof of Manufacturer form is also available on these websites.
Please mark your calendar with the following claim submission deadlines. Please note that 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.
Type of Deadline
June 3, 2019
Disease or Expedited Release Claim submission deadline for all claims in Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2 (this deadline does NOT apply to Late Claimants)
If you would like to read prior CAC e-newsletters, they are available on the CAC website by clicking on "Electronic Newsletter." We urge you to visit the CAC website (www.tortcomm.org) on a regular basis to download or view relevant documents and read updates and new information. To contact the CAC, send an email to: email@example.com or send a letter to the Post Office Box address for the CAC at:
Claimants' Advisory Committee
P.O. Box 665
St. Marys, Ohio 45885
Phone Number: (419) 394-0717
Fax Number: (419) 394-1748
NOTICE: This document is copyrighted. You are not authorized to post it on any website without express, prior written permission of the Claimants' Advisory Committee.