CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Dow Corning Breast Implant / Bankruptcy Settlement
Volume 18, No. 6, June 30, 2021
Like or Follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ClaimantsAdvisoryCommittee
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.
UPDATE ON PREMIUM PAYMENTS
As we reported last week, the District Court entered an Order authorizing the Settlement Facility to make the final premium payments to claimants in Classes 5, 6.1, and 6.2 who have an approved Rupture, Disease, and/or Increased Severity Disease claim. What does this mean?
Who is eligible for the premium payment? Women who have received a Notification of Status letter from the Settlement Facility stating that they have an acceptable Dow Corning breast implant and who also have an approved Rupture claim, Disease claim, and/or Increased Severity disease claim.
If your only payment was for Explant or Expedited Release, then you are NOT eligible for a premium payment.
If you are in Class 7 (non-DC breast implants), you are NOT eligible for a premium payment.
How much are the premium payments? For approved Rupture claims in Class 5 (US citizens), the total premium payment is $5,000. However, the Settlement Facility distributed 50% of this payment ($2,500) in 2015-16. The final premium payment is the other 50%, or another $2,500.
For Disease claims, the premium payment is an additional 20% above the Base Payment. For example, if your disease claim was approved at Atypical Connective Tissue Disease (ACTD) Level C for $10,000, then your premium payment is $2,000. The Settlement Facility distributed 50% of this payment ($1,000) in 2015-16. The final premium payment is the other 50%, or another $1,000.
Please do not contact the Settlement Facility to ask what your premium payment will be. This will only cause delay to everyone because the staff must respond to each and every inquiry instead of using that time to process payments.
When will I receive the premium payment? Closing Order 2 requires all claimants to provide a current address to the Settlement Facility before their premium payment can be sent. This is to verify that the payment will reach the claimant. When premium payments were issued in 2015, almost 1,600 checks — totaling over $2.8 million — were returned to the Settlement Facility because the claimant's address was no longer current or valid.
Neither the CAC nor the Settlement Facility can give you an exact date when your premium payment check will be mailed. However, here are some general guidelines you can follow:
- What is a "Current, valid address," A current, valid address is one that you receive mail, AND this address has been provided to the Settlement Facility within 90 days of when payment is issued. You must contact the Settlement Facility by phone, email, or letter, and confirm your address to them. If you do not contact them — and they do not hear from you — you will not receive a payment.
- What does "verified address mean?" — A verified address means that you have contacted the Settlement Facility by phone, email, or letter, and informed them of the address where you receive mail. You can verify your address by sending an email to the Settlement Facility with your current address (full name, street, city, state, zip, and phone number. Please include your SID number as well). You should receive a confirmation email from them, acknowledging receipt of your address verification. Once you do this (and assuming you are eligible), the Settlement Facility will send you a check. Checks are generally sent once a month, however, this may be adjusted as the need presents.
- If you do not receive a premium payment check within 60 days after you verified your address, then email the Settlement Facility again with your full name and current address. This will ensure that your address is current and verified.
- Generally speaking, premium payments will be made first to those who have a current, valid address on file with the Settlement Facility. If you do not have a current, valid address on file (meaning that you have verified your address within 90 days of the date the check is sent to you), then the Settlement Facility will send a letter to you asking you to verify your current address. Premium payment checks will be mailed based on the order that address verifications are received so the sooner you respond to the letter and tell the Settlement Facility that the address on file is current and valid, the sooner your check can be sent to you.
I updated my address with the Settlement Facility earlier in 2021. Do I need to do this again? What if I have never moved? Yes, you must still verify your address NOW. The Settlement Facility views an address as current if you have verified it within 90 days before a payment is sent to you. Verified means actually contacting the Settlement Facility by email, phone, or letter, and telling that your full name, address, phone number, and SID number. This is because so many claimants have moved or have not responded to earlier requests for address verification from the Settlement Facility. You must take action. If you ignore the letter, you risk forfeiting your payment for good.
What happens if I do not verify my address? If you do not call or email the Settlement Facility now with your address verification, the Settlement Facility will send you a letter asking you to do this. If you do not respond and do not verify your address, then your payment could be forfeited. You could lose your right to receive payment. You must contact the Settlement Facility now — even if you have done so previously — and confirm to them your address if you want to receive payment from the Settlement Facility.
Will the premium payment be held up by appeals to the Court's Order? An appeal to the Order has already been filed by certain Korean claimants. We do not believe that the District Court will grant a stay stopping the payment based on this appeal. In other words, we believe that the premium payments will be sent out starting within 30 — 45 days of the Court's Order of June 24, 2021. We will post any updates to this on our website. Please do NOT call or email asking when your payment will be sent. This will only cause delays in getting payments mailed. You can also follow updates on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ClaimantsAdvisoryCommittee
Can my attorney deduct attorney fees and expenses from the premium payment? Yes, provided they meet the limits for attorney fees and expenses outlined in the Plan Documents. For more information on this, read the Claimant Information Guide, Section 11, on the CAC website; http://tortcomm.org/downloads/CIG_ENG_5.pdf
Do law firms / attorneys have to update their address and / or their client's addresses with the Settlement Facility? Yes, attorneys must provide a current valid address for both their law firm and their clients. Law firms — it is important that you actually verify that your client is at the address you provide. The Settlement Facility will not accept an address as current if prior mailings to that address were returned undeliverable.
Can an attorney send in address verifications for their clients individually or do they have to wait to have all of them to submit at the same time? Address verifications can be sent individually. You do not have to have all of your client's addresses verified at the same time. Payment will be made based on the order the address verification is received for each individual claimant.
If an attorney cannot locate their client, what should they do? If an attorney or law firm cannot locate their client, they must inform the Settlement Facility of this as soon as possible and provide them with any information about the claimant that could help locate them, including the last known address. Attorneys can also inform the Settlement Facility that they will assert a lien for attorney fees and expenses on the premium payment, and the Settlement Facility will provide the lien documents to complete this process.
What should you do if the claimant is deceased? If a claimant is deceased, the SFDCT can process and pay the claim but only if the SFDCT receives ALL of the following documents: 1. An original death certificate for the claimant; 2. Documents that identify the person who is appointed by a court as Executor or Personal Representative who has authority to act on behalf of the claimant's estate; and 3.The address and contact information of the authorized Executor or Personal Representative. There are time deadlines that require you to provide this documents to the SFDCT or the claim and payment will be denied. It is very important that you take immediate steps to obtain these documents and submit them to the SFDCT before your deadline expires. If you do not know what your deadline is, contact the SFDCT for this information.
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.