Sybil Niden Goldrich
Ernest Hornsby, Esq.
Dianna Pendleton-Dominguez, Esq.
CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE E-NEWSLETTER
Volume 1, No. 7, October 29, 2004
Welcome to the 7th e-newsletter 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. 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 also visit the Settlement Facility website (www.dcsettlement.com) and 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 via U.S. mail to: P.O. Box 61406, Houston, Texas 77208-1406. We are not able to answer questions about a claimant's individual status. All questions about claim status should be directed to the Settlement Facility at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-866-874-6099.
1. Litigation Opt-Out Update
REMINDER: The deadline to return your Participation Form to elect litigation is November 29, 2004. Please note that this is a receipt deadline, i.e., your Participation Form must be received at the Settlement Facility office in Houston, Texas by November 29, 2004 unless it is either a) postmarked by certified or registered mail on or before November 29th, or b) sent by a delivery service (i.e., Federal Express, etc.) and the delivery service shows a date that proves that the materials were mailed on or before November 29th. See Section 3.02(c) in Annex A to the Settlement Facility and Fund Distribution Agreement.
Since November 29th is the Monday after the Thanksgiving holidays in the United States, we urge everyone to be mindful of the time it takes to deliver mail if it is sent by U.S. mail. If you intend to opt-out and use regular U.S. mail, please make sure that you mail the Participation Form so that it is received by November 29, 2004. If you intend to deliver the form in person (which is not recommended), then you must deliver it to the Settlement Facility office no later than 6 p.m. Central Time on November 29, 2004.
If you intend to remain in the Settlement Option, you do not need to complete the Participation Form because all claimants who do not affirmatively opt-out by November 29, 2004 will have their claims placed automatically and permanently in the Settlement Option. The deadline of November 29, 2004 is ONLY for persons who want to opt-out to pursue litigation. This deadline does not affect any deadline to apply for Settlement Option benefits.
2. Litigation Facility Questionnaire
Claimants who elect to opt-out on their Participation Form will be sent a letter by the Settlement Facility to confirm their decision to litigate. Consistent with Section 3.02(c)(ii) of Annex A to the Settlement Facility and Fund Distribution Agreement, the letter will allow opt-out claimants the opportunity to change their mind and return to the Settlement Option as long as it is done within 30 days after the date of the letter. The letter will also include a copy of the Litigation Questionnaire for opt-out claimants to complete and submit by February 28, 2005. Please note that only Opt-Out Claimants must complete the Litigation Questionnaire. Claimants who elect Settlement do NOT have to complete the Questionnaire.
You can view a copy of the Litigation Questionnaire on the CAC website (www.tortcomm.org) under "Opt-Out Information for Litigation." Please note that you cannot download and print a copy of the Questionnaire since the Questionnaire will be provided directly to each claimant who elects to opt-out.
3. Notice of Intent Survey
REMINDER: NOI surveys should be completed and returned to the Settlement Facility on or before October 30, 2004 (the actual deadline is November 2nd since Section 3.02(c) of Annex A provides that if a deadline falls on a Saturday - which the NOI survey deadline does -- then the next business day shall be the applicable deadline). Only those claimants who were mailed an NOI survey are requested to complete and return the survey (and provide copies of documents supporting their claim). If you (or your client) did not receive a survey, then you do not have to complete one. Do not copy someone else's survey or call/write asking the Settlement Facility to send you a copy. The survey is not a claim form, and no penalties will apply if you do not return the survey form. The survey is only to gather information so that the Plan Proponents and Court can assess the unmatched NOI claims. We urge you to complete and return the survey no later than Monday, November 2nd.
4. Late Notice of Intent and Proof of Claim forms
The Court has established a process to address late Notice of Intent forms. Pursuant to Section 2.02(b) in Annex A to the Settlement Facility and Fund Distribution Agreement, claimants who filed a Notice of Intent form after the August 30, 2004 deadline may appeal this decision that they are not eligible to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. All claimants who are determined to be late and therefore ineligible will be sent a letter from the Settlement Facility setting forth the process to use to file an appeal.
5. Tissue Expanders and Tolling Plan Interpretation Disputes
These Plan interpretation disputes have been briefed and argued to the Court; they are pending with the Court for a determination. As soon as we receive information about the Court's decision, we will post it on the CAC website and include it in the CAC newsletter. (You can read a copy of the briefs submitted by the CAC on the CAC website under "Other Downloads.")
6. Additional Q&A's on attorney's fees and expenses
The CAC and Debtor's Representatives have recently developed additional Q&A's on allowable attorney's fees and expenses. These new Q&A's will be submitted to the District Court for approval next week. As soon as the Order is signed and entered by the District Court, we will post it and the new Q&A's on our website.
7. Substantial Contribution Claims
Pursuant to Section 9.02 of Annex A to the Settlement Facility and Fund Distribution Agreement, the District Court recently entered an Order establishing various deadlines and a process for the submission of claims for "substantial contribution" consistent with Bankruptcy Rule 503(b). These claim applications are due with the District Court no sooner than December 1, 2004 and no later than January 3, 2005 and allow persons who believe that they made a "substantial contribution" to the resolution of tort claims in the bankruptcy to seek compensation from the Settlement Fund Trust. All such applications will be reviewed and ultimately ruled upon by the District Court. The Claimants' Advisory Committee and others as set forth in Section 9.02 retain the right to evaluate any such claim on the merits and to take any position with respect to the claim. The CAC is committed to ensuring that payments to claimants take precedence and priority over payment of allowed substantial contribution claims. A copy of the Order is available on the CAC website under "Court Orders" and is also being served on persons who had requested to be on the Special Service list in the bankruptcy proceedings.
8. Filing Deadlines
Please mark your calendar with the claim submission deadlines in 2004. Please note that most of these deadlines mean that your claim forms and materials must be received by the appropriate entity by the posted deadline. Please mail all forms early enough so that they are received by the deadline listed below.
||Type of Deadline
|October 30, 2004
||Deadline for Notice of Intent claimants to return Notice of Intent survey to Settlement Facility (please see note above that because the deadline falls on a Saturday, the actual deadline is November 2, 2004).
|November 29, 2004
||Deadline to return Participation Form to Settlement Facility if you want to opt-out. Claimants who elect settlement do not have to return the Participation Form.
|February 28, 2005
||Deadline for Opt-Out Claimants to postmark their "Notice of Intent to Litigate / Claimant Questionnaire" and return it to the Litigation Facility.
9. Deficiency / Cure Deadlines
If you receive a Notification of Status letter from the Settlement Facility stating that you have a deficiency in your claim submission, please note that there are very short deadlines to cure most deficiencies. The deadlines are listed below:
||Deadline to Cure Deficiency
|Proof of Manufacturer
||No deadline but your claim for Explant, Rupture, Medical Condition or Disease will not be reviewed until you first have acceptable proof of an eligible implant
||6 months from date of Notification of Status letter
||6 months from date of Notification of Status letter
(Classes 9, 10.1 and 10.2)
|6 months from date of Notification of Status letter
||1 year from date of Notification of Status letter
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