Sybil Niden Goldrich
Ernest Hornsby, Esq.
Dianna Pendleton-Dominguez, Esq.

CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE E-NEWSLETTER
Volume 2, No. 9, August 26, 2005




This is the 17h e-newsletter (Vol. 2, No.9) 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 or to reply to this newsletter, send an email to: info@tortcomm.org. Please do not hit "Reply" to this email address. Please use the email address: info@tortcomm.org.

NOTE: The CAC is happy to answer questions you may have, but we urge you to first contact the Claims Assistance Program at their toll free number (866-874-6099) or by email at: info@sfdct.com. We apologize for any delay on our part in returning phone calls and answering inquiries. Please know that we will work to respond to each inquiry.

1. INFORMATION MEETING SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
The Settlement Facility will sponsor a series of informational meetings this fall in the United States and Europe. The schedule for meetings in the U.S. is:

Date City Location Address Time
September 14, 2005 Denver, CO Adam’s Mark 1550 Court Place P: (303)626-2575 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM  
September 16, 2005 Salt Lake City, UT Best Western Garden Inn
154 W 600 South
P: (801)325-5308
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
 
September 21, 2005 Cleveland, OH Holiday Inn Select City Centre Lakeshore
1111 Lakeside Ave.
P: (216)241-5100
9:30 AM – 1:00 PM
 
September 26, 2005 Santa Barbara, CA Holiday Inn Santa Barbara-Goleta
5650 Calle Real
P: (805)964-6241
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
 
September 27, 2005 Portland, OR Holiday Inn Portl.-Downtown Conv. Center
1441 NE 2nd Avenue
P: (503)233-2401
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
 
September 28, 2005 Reno, NV Holiday Inn Reno Downtown
1000 East Sixth Street
P: (775)786-5151
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
 
October 18, 2005 Washington DC Washington Plaza Hotel
10 Thomas Circle NW
P: (202)842-1300
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
 
October 21, 2005 Charleston, SC The Francis Marion Hotel
387 King Street
P: (843) 722-0600
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
 
October 24, 2005 Miami, FL JW Marriott Hotel Miami
1109 Brickell Avenue
P: (305)374-1224
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
 
November 4, 2005 New Orleans, LA Park Plaza Hotel New Orleans
1500 Canal Street
P: (504)522-4500
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
 
 

The meetings are open to all Settling Claimants, their family and attorneys/law firm members who represent SF-DCT claimants. The meetings will cover information about updates concerning the claims review process for claimants in Class 5 and 6 (women with Dow Corning breast implants), Class 7 (Silicone Gel Material Claimants) and Class 9 and 10 (Dow Corning Covered Other Products). Some of the topics that will be covered include: how to deal with claim deficiencies and cure deadlines, the temporary suspension of cure deadlines for certain claims, the current status of Notice of Intent eligibility dispute, release dispute and lien dispute procedures, and Explant Assistance issues, among other topics. They will also focus on the approaching deadline of June 1, 2006 for Rupture claims, Class 7 Silicone Gel claims, and Class 9 Dow Corning Covered Other Products claims. A representative of the Claimants’ Advisory Committee will also be available to answer individual claimant questions. The meetings will not cover litigation issues for opt-out claimants.



2. PROCESSING TIME LINE PROVIDED BY THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY

The Settlement Facility recently provided an updated time line to process claims in Class 5 and 6.1 (Dow Corning Breast Implant claims) as of August 8, 2005:

  Estimated wait time for Rupture Review
If benefit form was submitted by: 0-2 months 2-4 months 4-6 months
Prior to January 2005 X    
01/05 – 07/05   X  
 

  Estimated wait time for Explant Review
If benefit form was submitted by: 0-2 months 2-4 months 4-6 months 6-8 months
Prior to October 2004 X      
10/04 – 04/05   X    
05/05 – 07/05     X  
 

 
  Estimated wait time for Disease Option 1 Review
If benefit form was submitted by: 0-2 months 2-4 months 4-6 months 6-8 months 8-10 months
Prior to August 2004 X        
08/04 – 09/04   X      
10/04 – 12/04     X    
01/05 – 06/05       X  
07/05         X
 

 
  Estimated wait time for Disease Option 2 Review
If benefit form was submitted by: 0-2 months 2-4 months 4-6 months 6-8 months 8-10 months
Prior to September 2004 X        
09/04 – 11/04   X      
12/04 – 06/05     X    
07/05       X  
 

 
Estimated Wait Time For Review of Additional Information
  0-30 days 0-60 days
POM   X
Rupture X  
Explant X  
Disease X  
 

NOTE from SFDCT: "Claims should be reviewed within the next 30 days unless claim is: on Hold or Pending POM review. Disclaimer: If POM form was submitted during a different time period than benefit claim form, reviews for benefits will be for the time frame in which the benefit form was filed."

3. SETTLEMENT FACILITY TO IMPLEMENT NEW PRODUCT ID PROTOCOL NEGOTIATED BY THE CAC

In the last newsletter (August 8, 2005), we reported on a new protocol that you can use to establish proof of a Dow Corning breast implant if your implant was implanted prior to 1971. The Settlement Facility has informed us that all claims of pre-1971 implants – approximately 700 claims -- that were previously submitted and found unacceptable are being re-reviewed under the new protocol. If the Proof of Manufacture (POM) is now acceptable, they will review and/or re-review any Rupture, Explant and Disease claim affected by this. You will receive a letter from the Settlement Facility regarding the outcome of your re-review under the new protocol if your implant is in this group.

NOTE: The Settlement Facility has informed us that of the 700 claims in this category, approximately 200+ are submissions where the only documentation for proof of manufacturer came from an explant report dated in 1971 or thereafter. Claimants in this situation need to document that their implant was implanted before 1971. If you had documents dated before 1971 but did not submit them, please do so now so that your Proof of Manufacture claim can be re-reviewed under the new protocol.

4. CLAIMS PROCESSING RESULTS AS OF JULY 2005

Since June 1, 2004 (the Effective Date), approximately $352 million dollars have been paid to Class 5, 6.1 and 6.2 (Dow Corning Breast Implant claimants). Listed below are additional data concerning the processing of these claims through July 31, 2005:

· 59,431 proof of manufacturer claims submitted
· 57,387 of these claim reviews have been completed
· 48,007 or 83% have been determined to have acceptable proof of an eligible Dow Corning breast implant

Once a claimant has established acceptable proof (or a minor deficiency) of an eligible breast implant, claims for Explant, Rupture, and Expedited Release or Disease are reviewed.

 
Claim Category
Number of Claims Paid through July 31, 2005
Total $$ Paid in category through July 31, 2005
Expedited Release
9,016
$17,361,089.95
Explant 13,522 $66,324,184.16
Explant Assistance 69 $265,000.00
Rupture 9,011 $178,218,790.55
Disease 5,793 $89,966,179.70
Total 37,411 $352,135,244.36
 

We have received a number of inquiries from claimants who have received a Base Payment on their Rupture and/or Disease claim asking when they would receive the remainder of their payment. The remaining amount, called a Premium Payment, is not authorized to be paid at this time. The Plan Documents provide that Premium Payments can be made only after Base Payments to other pending claims have been made and the Court is assured that sufficient funds remain to pay other claims as well as the Premium Payments. We do not anticipate that Premium Payments will be paid before Years 5-7 following the Effective Date. Because there is a significant turnaround in claimant addresses over 5-10 years, it is important that you keep your address current with the Facility so that if and when Premium Payments are made, payments can reach you at the correct address.

5. Status of Notice of Intent (NOI) Unmatched Claims and NOI Survey

The Claimants’ Advisory Committee and Debtor’s Representatives have now received data from the survey that the Settlement Facility conducted on the so-called "unmatched" Notice of Intent claims. We are continuing our discussions on how best to resolve the Motion filed by Dow Corning in early 2003 and hope to report more on this issue soon. If a solution is reached, we will post it on the CAC website (www.tortcomm.org) and we will issue a special newsletter to let you know what is going on.

In the meantime, "unmatched" NOI claimants should be mindful of the approaching deadlines for Rupture for Dow Corning claimants (June 1, 2006), and the deadline for Class 7 Silicone Gel Claims and Class 9 Covered Other Dow Corning Products claims (also June 1, 2006).

6. Class 7 – Silicone Gel Claims

The Settlement Facility is in the process of finalizing a letter that will be mailed to all claimants initially classified as a Class 7 claim. The letter will include a reminder of the approaching deadline to submit the Class 7 claim form and other helpful information about submitting claims, marshaling, etc. The informational meetings scheduled for the fall will also include segments on Class 7 claim issues.

7. Doctor Watch List Issues

The Claims Administrator has informed us that he has reviewed the doctor watch list and has substantially narrowed the list of names that remain on the list. At this time, there are only 6 doctor’s names who are on the list (to determine if your doctor is on the list, you can call Claims Assistance and ask them). For those whose doctor is on the list, the Settlement Facility will not accept a Qualified Medical Doctor (QMD) report from the doctor; however, the Facility will accept and review medical records from these doctors if the doctor was the treating physician. To the best of our knowledge, a treating physician is one who has seen the claimant for at least two occasions not related to obtaining compensation for the Revised Settlement Program or this settlement.

If your doctor was previously on the watch list and has now been removed, then the Settlement Facility will inform you that your claim is no longer on an administrative hold and will be processed (assuming acceptable Proof of Manufacture). Also, disease claims that were approved in the Revised Settlement Program but who were placed on HOLD by the Facility because of the doctor watch list have now been released for payment.

The Claims Administrator has also informed us that letters will be mailed to claimants affected by this issue with information on how you may proceed.

8. MDL Pass Through Claims

The new Claims Administrator has reversed the prior policy of the Settlement Facility regarding payment of so-called "MDL Pass Through" claims. Previously, MDL pass through claims that requested evaluation for a higher paying disease claim were re-evaluated from scratch and the prior MDL award was, in some instances, not recognized or paid. The new policy is that ALL MDL pass through awards will be recognized and paid at least at the MDL award level (i.e., if you were awarded a Disease Level "C" by the MDL Claims Office then you will be paid 50% of the Facility’s Level "C" amount). You can still request evaluation for a higher paying amount without losing the right to receive the same disease award from the Facility.

9. Update on Release Dispute Procedures and Motion by the CAC

Claimants who have received a letter from the Settlement Facility stating that they are ineligible to proceed on their claim because of a release that they signed must comply with the process for disputing the release as set forth in the Release Dispute Procedures. HOWEVER, if you fall within one of the following two categories, then you may be covered by a motion that the CAC is trying to finalize and file within the next several weeks:

1. If you entered into a release after 1991 and before May 15, 1995, were unrepresented by counsel at the time, and the amount of the release is less than $15,000; OR

2. If you believe that the release was provided in connection with the Dow Corning Removal Assistance Program ("RAP").

If you fall within one of these two categories, please contact the CAC (if you have not already done so) at info@tortcomm.org. We will post a copy of the motion we are filing on our website and will also mail a copy to those persons on our release dispute mailing list.

10. Status of the Audit of the Settlement Facility and the Order Suspending Some Cure Deadlines

The CAC recently received a revised Audit report on the Settlement Facility. We are working with the Court, the Claims Administrator and the Debtor’s Representatives to implement appropriate corrective measures to address issues raised in the Audit. The Settlement Facility will post its Action Plan on its website soon, and we will make it available on the CAC website as well.

The Order that suspended some cure deadlines provided that the Claims Administrator would provide certain information to the CAC and Debtor’s Representatives. Because of the magnitude of this task, the information has not been provided but should be provided soon. As a result, the CAC anticipates that it will very likely request the Court to further suspend cure deadlines that will occur on or after November 15, 2005. We have not submitted anything to the Court at this time, however, so claimants with cure deadlines of November 15, 2005 or thereafter should continue to take that cure deadline seriously and make every effort to address the deficiency.

The Settlement Facility has indicated to us that they mailed letters to all claimants affected by the Order suspending cure deadlines. Unfortunately, the letter contained a typo with the number for the Claims Assistance Program (CAP). The correct phone number is 866-874-6099.

Several new motions have been filed regarding cure deadlines and the Disease Disability A issue. We will post these documents on the CAC website. Other motions have now been resolved and have been withdrawn. We will include a complete summary on the CAC website under the heading "Pending Motions."

11. Deadlines
Please mark your calendar with the claim submission deadlines. 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.

Deadline Date Type of Deadline
June 1, 2006 Rupture Claim submission deadline for Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2
June 1, 2006 Silicone Material Claim submission deadline – Class 7. All claims for Disease or Expedited Release must be submitted by this date. The Fund will close permanently and no new claims will be allowed after this date.
June 1, 2006 Covered Other Products submission deadline – Classes 9, 10.1 and 10.2. All claims for Expedited Release or a Medical Condition must be submitted by this date. The Fund will close permanently and no new claims will be allowed after this date.
June 1, 2007 Expedited Release submission deadline – Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2
June 1, 2014 Explant Claims submission deadline for Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2
June 1, 2019 Disease Claim submission deadline for Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2
 

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:
Settlement Benefit 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
Explant 6 months from date of Notification of Status letter
Rupture 6 months from date of Notification of Status letter
Medical Condition (Classes 9, 10.1 and 10.2) 6 months from date of Notification of Status letter
Disease 1 year from date of Notification of Status letter


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. To contact the CAC, send an email to: info@tortcomm.org or send a letter to the new Post Office Box address for the CAC at:
Claimants’ Advisory Committee
P.O. Box 665
St. Marys, Ohio 45885
This is a NEW P.O. Box address for the CAC so please update your records.

Questions about the status of your claim or a claim-specific question (i.e., when am I going to be paid, has my claim been processed, etc.) should be directed to the Claims Assistance Program at info@sfdct.com. Please do not send these types of questions to the CAC because we are unable to answer them. The CAC does not have access to individual claimant files and information. When we receive inquiries such as this, we have to forward them to the Claims Assistance Program for a response which delays the response.

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.


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