CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Dow Corning Breast Implant / Bankruptcy Settlement
Volume 17, No. 5, June 24, 2020
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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.
SF-DCT OFFICE REMAINS PARTIALLY CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19 SAFETY CONCERNS
On March 17, 2020, the Settlement Facility offices in Houston, Texas closed temporarily because of COVID-19 safety concerns. The office remains partially closed now because of the pandemic. However, we are pleased to report several important developments:
1. The SF-DCT offices have reopened their phone lines from Monday – Friday, 10 am to 2 pm CENTRAL time (11 am – 3 pm Eastern Time). You can also send them an email with questions at email@example.com. The Claimants' Advisory Committee offices are also open and can provide general information about claims processing; however, we do not have access to individual claim files and therefore cannot tell you what the status of your claim is. Only the Settlement Facility can do this.
2. The Settlement Facility has also opened its mail processing department.
3. Shortly after closing the offices, the Settlement Facility purchased computer equipment to allow claim reviewers to continue processing claims remotely. As a result, we are happy to share with you that there has been only a minimal down time in processing. Claims processing is and has been ongoing remotely over the past several months.
4. Claim payments also continue to be made. The previously reported problem with the outside company that issued checks has been resolved, and the Settlement Facility has and continues to issue checks on approved claims.
STATUS OF SECOND PRIORITY PAYMENTS ("PREMIUM PAYMENTS")
We know that many of you are understandably interested in knowing when the final "Premium Payment" will be made. Please know that this is our highest priority as well. Unfortunately, we suffered several setbacks this year with the untimely death of Finance Committee member Special Master Francis McGovern and the pandemic that has forced the closing of the Settlement Facility. At this time, the Finance Committee is gathering information and data about the status of the disease claims that are awaiting review and working with the various experts to finalize a recommendation about this very issue. The Plan requires them to submit this analyses to the District Court and seek the Court's approval to issue the final Premium Payments under a very specific standard – "that all Allowed and allowable claims … have been either paid or adequate provision has been made to assure such payments." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has interpreted this language to mean that future Base Payments must be virtually guaranteed before Premium Payments can be made. This is a high standard and requires specific evidence to be presented. That's what the Finance Committee is working on now.
We will continue to work with the Finance Committee to urge them to make their recommendation this year – probably in the fourth quarter of 2020 -- and to request an expedited hearing with the Court. This would be the earliest that this could happen, and then we would need to wait for the Court to issue an Order allowing these payments. As a result, this means that realistically, the remaining Premium Payment, if allowed by the Court, would not be issued until sometime in 2021.
We would love to tell you we know exactly when Premium Payments will be issued, but we cannot do that. We have and will continue to strongly urge the Finance Committee to act in an expedited way so that these payments can be issued to you as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please keep your contact information updated with the Settlement Facility. If you fail to keep your address current, then any future payment to you will be delayed or permanently denied if the Settlement Facility does not have a current address for you in time to pay your claim by a date that will be set by the District Court sometime in the future. Please make sure that the Settlement Facility knows where to send mail to you at all times.
If anyone with a pending claim has passed away, please notify the Settlement Facility about this at your earliest convenience so that you can start the process of obtaining appropriate probate documents to send to the Settlement Facility. The address to send all documents to is listed below.
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY:
P.O. Box 52429
Houston, TX 77052
PHONE NUMBER: 866-874-6099
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.
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.