CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Dow Corning Breast Implant / Bankruptcy Settlement
Volume 16, No. 2, March 20, 2019
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Email: email@example.com 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.
COURT ENTERS CLOSING ORDER 2
On March 19, 2019, the District Court entered Closing Order 2. To view this order, go to www.tortcomm.org and click on "Court Orders." We urge everyone to carefully review Closing Order 2 because it contains important information about filing appeals, deadlines, updating addresses, the process for attorneys to withdraw from representation of claimants, requesting checks to be re-issued or replaced, and other important information.
Here is a brief summary (the language in Closing Order 2 controls over any language used in this Summary):
Section A - Claims that are incomplete or late as of June 3, 2019 will receive a Final Determination Letter denying the claim. Claimants can appeal this denial to the Claims Administrator within 60 days on the date of the letter. If the Claims Administrator denies the appeal, the claimant can then appeal to the Appeals Judge within 60 days from the date of the Claims Administrator decision letter. The decision of the Appeals Judge is final and no further appeals are permitted.
Section B - attorneys who receive a payment for a claimant but are not able to distribute it before it expires (180 days) MUST return the entire amount of the payment to the SF. If the claimant is subsequently located, the SF may reissue payment subject to deadlines for reissuance of checks provided for in this Order. Attorneys may assert a lien t;hrough the Lien Resolution Procedures on the payment amount and recover their attorney fees and expenses even if the claimant cannot be located.
Section C - Claimants and attorneys are required to keep their address and contact information current with the SF. The SF shall NOT issue payment unless it has a confirmed, current address for the claimant or authorized payee. Paragraph 11 defines what is considered a confirmed current address. The SF shall not mail payments to a lawyer or law firm unless it has a confirmed, current address for that lawyer or law firm. Section C also has protocols for situations where the attorney of record is deceased, disbarred, retired, suspended, or does not have a confirmed, current address. Paragraph 12 notes that the court will set a final distribution deadline at some point in the future. The SF shall not issue any replacement checks or other payments after the final distribution deadline.
Section D - The SF is authorized to audit claimant settlement payments to lawyers / law firms to determine whether the law firm has distributed the payment and whether the claimant received the appropriate amount of funds.
Section E - Attorneys of record may not withdraw from representing a claimant unless the claimant terminates the representation, or the claimant and attorney jointly agree in a writing sent to the SF ending the representation, or the attorney seeks permission to withdraw by submitting a written request to the Appeals Judge within 30 days of the entry of this Order (the order is dated March 19, 2019). The request will be granted only if the Appeals Judge determines that the withdrawal meets the standards of Section 1.16 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Section E, paragraph 17(c) describes the procedures for submitting requests to withdraw representation.
Section F - If a claimant does not cash a check before it expires (180 days), the claimant may request issuance of a new check at any time before June 3, 2019. After June 3, 2019, the claimant may request issuance of a new check only as provided in paragraph 19 and 20. Paragraph 19 provides that the SF may issue a new check payable to the estate or personal representative of a claimant who has passed away, even if the check has expired, provided that the representative notifies the SF of the death of the claimant AND provides the necessary information about the authorized payee no later than 30 days before the final distribution deadline. The final distribution deadline has not yet been set. It will be set by the Court at a later date (paragraph 12).
Paragraph 20 provides that the SF may issue a replacement check for good cause and describes how a claimant or attorney can request the replacement check.
Section G - If an attorney is unable to locate a claimant and notifies the SF of this, and if the attorney returns all of the funds to the SF, then the SF may issue a replacement check net of attorney fees and expenses if any allowed by the Lien Judge to the claimant if the claimant later comes forward. The request must be made no later than 30 days before the final distribution deadline.
Section H - the SF and CAC shall post this order on their websites and shall distribute information about this Order in the CAC newsletter and social media page.
COURT ENTERS STIPULATION FOR LIMITED SETTLEMENT OPTION FOR CLAIMANTS WHO SIGNED A "RELEASE" WITH DOW CORNING FROM 1992-1995
On March 14, 2019, the District Court entered a Stipulation and Order regarding a certain small number of claimants who signed a "release" document with Dow Corning in exchange for a payment of less than $15,000 during the period of 1992 through May 15, 1995, while unrepresented by an attorney, and certain claims for payment that were made during the Dow Corning Removal Assistance Program. These claims have been denied in the past; however, the Stipulation provides that these claimants in Classes 5, 6.1, and 6.2 (Dow Corning breast implant claimants), can apply for either a Disease or Expedited Release Payment but they must submit the claim form and supporting documents on or before June 3, 2019.
The Settlement Facility will send a Notice to affected claimants and their attorney.
To view a copy of the Stipulation, go to www.tortcomm.org and click on Court Orders.
FINAL CLAIMS DEADLINE JUNE 3, 2019
We are less than 3 months away from the final claims filing deadline of June 3, 2019. All claim forms and supporting documents should be mailed with a postmark date of on or before June 3, 2019. The Settlement Facility and Appeals Judge have consistently denied late submissions. If your submission is late, it will be denied. YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR CLAIM FORMS AND MEDICAL RECORDS ON OR BEFORE JUNE 3, 2019.
Also, if your claim previously received a letter stating that it was deficient or was missing something — such as probate documents — you MUST submit documents to fix the deficiency or submit appropriate probate documents to the Settlement Facility ON OR BEFORE JUNE 3, 2019 — unless you have received a letter from the Settlement Facility giving you a different deadline.
Make sure you know what your deadline is. Call the Settlement Facility and ask them if you are missing any documents or claim forms of if there is anything else you need to submit to have a claim approved. Don't wait until the last minute. Call now. Their toll free number is 866-874-6099 and their email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can download claim forms for Proof of Manufacturer and Expedited Release / Disease claims on our website at www.tortcomm.org or at www.sfdct.com. If you are applying for an Increased Severity Disease claim, there is no claim form for this. Submit an Increased Severity disease claim by sending in a letter requesting an Increased Severity review. Please note that this is the only claim that will be reviewed based on a letter. You must use the Settlement Facility claim forms to submit Proof of Manufacturer and Expedited Release / Disease claims.
If you have any question at all about whether you are eligible to submit a claim, if you have a claim for payment where a check was issued but has not been cashed or is pending, or if you have any questions about your claim status or cure deadline, call the Settlement Facility now at 866-874-6099 or send them an email at email@example.com. If you know it, have your SIDE number available to provide to the Settlement Facility. We urge everyone to take care of this now. The Settlement Facility is open Monday — Thursday from 10 am — 5 pm Eastern Time and on Fridays from 10 am — 4 pm Eastern Time.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. Get your papers and information in order now so that your claim is timely. Many claimants have had their claim denied because it was not submitted by the deadline, and as a result, they could not receive any payment on their claim.
HOW CAN YOU STAY INFORMED FROM NOW UNTIL THE FINAL CLAIMS DEADLINE?
We post daily updates on our Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/ClaimantsAdvisoryCommittee
This is the best way to stay informed. We urge you to like and follow our Facebook page and check it every day for updates, reminders, and new information. A lot will be happening over the next several months. We will also continue to send our e-newsletters, but this will not be done as frequently as our Facebook updates.
Also, check our updated information, claim forms, court orders, information on attorneys still willing to accept new clients, and other related matters on our website, www.tortcomm.org. The Settlement Facility website also has a lot of information that you may find helpful — www.sfdct.com.
PREMIUM PAYMENT UPDATE
Partial Premium Payments are being made at this time to those claimants who have an approved Rupture claim and/or an approved Disease claim AND they did not receive a partial Premium Payment already. The Settlement Facility has been issuing these payments each month. They are also sending letters to claimants who are eligible to receive the partial Premium Payment asking them to respond and confirm their current address. If you receive this letter, YOU MUST RESPOND TO THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY OR THEY WILL NOT MAIL THE PAYMENT TO YOU.
DEADLINE AND OTHER REMINDERS
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY:
Send all claim forms, submissions, address changes, and all other documents to the Settlement Facility at: Settlement Facility, P.O. Box 52429, Houston, TX 77052
PHONE NUMBER: 866-874-6099 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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).
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 because they are not allowed to file any claims pursuant to the Agreed Order Allowing Certain Late Claims Limited Rights to Participate in the Plan's Settlement Facility, dated Dec. 12, 2007).
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.