CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Dow Corning Breast Implant / Bankruptcy Settlement
Volume 15, No. 3, February 15, 2018
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Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Phone: (419) 394-0717 or
CAC Sybil Niden Goldrich
P.O. Box 665 Ernest Hornsby, Esq.
St. Marys, OH 45885 Dianna Pendleton-Dominguez, Esq.
NOTICE OF FINAL CLAIMS SUBMISSION DEADLINE AND CLOSING OF THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY OFFICES
The court-approved "Notice of Termination" was sent to all persons who filed a Proof of Claim form in the Dow Corning bankruptcy and who claimed they had a Dow Corning breast implant. If you did not receive a letter from the Settlement Facility, then you either 1) did not have a Proof of Claim form, or 2) your address is not accurate with the Settlement Facility. If you believe you should have received the "Notice" letter, then call the Settlement Facility at 866-874-6099 and ask about your status.
Since the "Notice" was mailed, we have posted Q&As about the closing of the Settlement Facility and the final claims deadline. Here is a link to those Q&As on our website: http://www.tortcomm.org/downloads/2018,%202-2%20FINAL%20Online%20QA%20for%20Notice.pdf
In addition to these Q&As, here are common questions we have received:
1. Will the final Premium Payment be made? Yes, we believe it will be made, and it is only a question of timing. Since the Settlement Facility will close to all claims on June 3, 2019, we believe that the Finance Committee will review all claims at that time and made a recommendation to the District Court about final premium payments. Please continue to review our website and newsletters for updates on this.
2. Do I need an attorney to help me? If you need help with your Proof of Manufacturer or a Disease claim, then you may consider consulting an attorney. Data shows that claimants who are represented have their Disease claim approved at a higher rate than those who do not have an attorney. The list of attorneys who have experience in handling claims in this case and who are willing to accept new clients can be found at this link: http://www.tortcomm.org/downloads/Attorneys_Willing_To_Assist_2018-02-08.pdf
3. If you want to submit a claim for Expedited Release, then you do not need an attorney. Simply complete the Expedited Release form, sign and return it by the final claims deadline of June 3, 2019, and your claim for $2,000 (Class 5) will be paid within 30-60 days. You will not be eligible for a Disease payment.
4. What is the Expedited Release Payment? This is a payment to women who do not have a disease claim. There is no other criteria to apply for this payment except that you must complete the Proof of Manufacturer Form and have acceptable proof that you have or had a Dow Corning breast implant, AND you must also complete the Expedited Release claim form. All claims must be postmarked on or before June 3, 2019.
5. How do I get claim forms? Call the Settlement Facility at 866-874-6099. To get around their computer voice mail, press "1" when it says Press 1 for Claims, then press 4 when it lists other options. This will bring your call to a staff reviewer who can assist you. Do not call the CAC to ask about the status of your claim or to get claim forms. We do not have access to any claim files.
6. My wife (or mother) passed away. Can I still pursue her claim? Yes, you can. Call the Settlement Facility to find out what documents they will need you to submit to act on behalf of your wife's (mother's) claim. You can file a claim for either Expedited Release or Disease.
7. How do I get my medical records showing I had or have Dow Corning breast implants if my records were destroyed many years ago? Review all of the acceptable protocols for proving who made your implants. You can find these at this link: http://www.tortcomm.org/downloads/sfdct/CLASS%205%20POM%20CLAIM%20FORM.pdf
We also urge everyone to read our "Top 10 Tips For Dealing With The Final Claims Deadline of June 3, 2019 that was in our last e-newsletter. Here is a link to that document: http://www.tortcomm.org/newsletter_180125.shtml
UPDATE ON PREMIUM PAYMENTS
Dow Corning filed a Notice of Appeal of the Court's order authorizing partial Premium Payments to those who did not receive this payment in 2014-15. We do not have a scheduling order for briefs yet, but we will post that on our website (www.tortcomm.org) when we receive anything.
Dow Corning also filed a motion with the District Court asking it to stay or stop the Settlement Facility from issuing partial Premium Payments until the Court of Appeals rules on the appeal. The CAC opposed this motion. We are disappointed to report that the Finance Committee filed a response asking the court to consider staying payments during the appeal as well. The Finance Committee consists of the Claims Administrator, the Appeals Judge, and the Special Master for the Litigation Facility. The CAC also opposed this request. Copies of documents are available on our website at this link: http://www.tortcomm.org/premiumpayments.shtml
DOW CORNING CORPORATION CHANGES ITS NAME
Effective February 1, 2018, Dow Corning Corporation changed its name to Dow Silicones Corporation. It remains a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. It will not change any of the obligations that Dow Corning Corporation had under the Settlement Plan.
EXPLANT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ENDS
Here is an announcement from the Common Benefit Fund about their Explant Assistance Program:
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: ACCEPTANCE OF APPLICATIONS FOR EXPLANT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IS SUSPENDED:
Since its inception two-and-a-half years ago, the Explant Financial Assistance Program has been a charitable work in progress. We have been glad to help as many as we can and to do more.
We decided to simplify this Program, beginning January 1, 2018, so as to make it easier to get help to women in need of financial assistance to cover the costs for removal of their breast implants.
The past few weeks have indicated to us -- due to the heavy volume of Applications that we have received -- that we have succeeded in this goal -- and given the volume -- we are now required to pause so as to be able to respond to those who have applied.
As we have always stated on this site and in our Program literature, "the funds for this Program are limited."
Because we want to make financial assistance available to as many women who qualify for the assistance as apply for it, we need at this point to pause and not accept additional applications. This is what we mean by "suspending the acceptance of applications." Accordingly, the Application form has been removed from this page.
At this point, we do not know whether we will accept more applications at a later date, but we pause now to make sure that we can assist as many women as available funds will permit who have already mailed in Applications and will qualify.
We urge you to read the following carefully, in order to learn what we mean by "suspending acceptance of Applications," and how this will affect you:
If you have received or will receive a Notice of Financial Assistance from us, this means that financial assistance has been set aside for you. You benefit from this Program by simply following the Instructions in this Notice. You are not affected by the suspension.
If you have received a Notice of Eligibility to Apply for Explant Assistance from us, this means that you have a "place in line" to get approval for financial assistance, but you have not been definitely approved yet. You must successfully submit the appropriate Proof of Implantation documents we asked for in order to have financial assistance set aside for you. You are not affected by the suspension.
If you received an Application in the mail from us as one who was "Previously-Deferred," this means that you have a "place in line" to get approval for financial assistance, but you cannot be definitely approved unless you mail in the Application and we send you a Notice of Financial Assistance. You are not affected by the suspension.
If you have sent in your Application and it is post-marked no earlier than January 22, 2018, and no later than January 26, 2018, it will be reviewed for financial assistance. However, you are affected by the suspension. While there is a good chance that funds will be available, we cannot guarantee this. If your Application is approvable, but it is uncertain that funds will be available, your Application will be given priority on a special wait list for review.
If you send in an Application and it is post-marked later than January 26, 2018, the Application will be reviewed only if i) funds are later determined by us to be available and the ii) the Applicant has requested that it be put on a wait list for review. You are affected by the suspension. In order to have the Application put on a wait list for review in the event that we re-open acceptance of applications, you will need to notify us in writing care of Explant Financial Assistance Program, PO Box 1028, Birmingham, AL 35201.
If we determine that funds are sufficient to start accepting Applications again, we will post an appropriate announcement at this page and oplc.org.
DEADLINE AND OTHER REMINDERS
KEEP CONTACT INFORMATION UPDATED WITH THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY: Keep all information regarding a claimant's name, address, phone number, email address, and attorney information current with the Settlement Facility. Attorneys and law firms should also keep their contact information current with the Settlement Facility. Many claimants have been approved for payments but they have moved and have not provided a current address. Send all updates to the Settlement Facility at: Settlement Facility, P.O. Box 52429, Houston, TX 77052 or by email to: email@example.com.
PROBATE INFORMATION (BENEFITS PAYABLE AFTER A CLAIMANT'S DEATH): If a claimant has died, her estate can receive the claimant's approved payments, but they must contain certain necessary documents from the probate court. For more information on what the Settlement Facility needs, contact them toll free at: 1-866-874-6099 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATTORNEY FEE LIMITS AND EXPENSES: The Plan sets a cap on the attorney fees payable to your attorney (if you were represented individually on your claim). The fee limits are: 10% of the first $10,000; 22.5% of the next $40,000; and 30% of amounts in excess of $50,000. The Plan also lists the types of expenses that attorneys can charge. For more information on allowable fees and expenses, review the Claimant Information Guide at Section 11 (http://www.tortcomm.org/downloads/CIG_ENG_5.pdf.
EXPLANT ASSISTANCE: The Explant Assistance program in the Dow Corning Settlement Facility expired in 2014. In addition, the MDL 926 Revised Settlement Program that covered other manufacturers like Bristol, Baxter, and 3M closed in 2010 so there are NO explant benefits available from either settlement. The financial assistance program for explantation that was operated by the Common Benefit Fund was suspended in January 2018.
Please mark your calendar with the following claim submission deadline. Please note that this deadline means that your claim forms and supporting documents must be postmarked on or before the posted deadline. Please mail all forms early enough so your claim will not be late.
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)
Increased Severity claims in Disease Option 1 and Disease Option 2 for all approved disease claims in Classes 5, 6.1, and 6.2.
ALL claimants must submit a Proof of Manufacturer Form with supporting documents on or before June 3, 2019.
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.
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.