CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Dow Corning Breast Implant / Bankruptcy Settlement
Volume 14, No. 12, September 21, 2017
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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.
STALE CHECKS -- KEEP YOUR ADDRESS & CONTACT INFORMATION UPDATED WITH THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY
The Settlement Facility has over $3.65 MILLION in stale or uncashed checks for 1,064 claims. Checks are considered "stale" if they are not cashed within 180 days of the date on the check and the claimant does not request a new check. The majority of the stale checks (in terms of dollars) are for Class 5 claimants (U.S. women with Dow Corning breast implants). Class 5 has $2.435 million in stale checks for 414 claims. Class 7 (Silicone Gel Claimants, i.e., women who do not have a Dow Corning breast implant but have an eligible silicone gel breast implant from Bristol, Baxter, CUI, Mentor, or Bioplasty) -- has approximately $1.102 million in stale checks for 580 claims.
The reason checks go stale is usually because claimants have not informed the Settlement Facility of their new address or contact information. Many women move, remarry and change their name, and then they cannot be located. The Settlement Facility has procedures to search for a claimant's new address. Oftentimes, they are able to locate many women and/or attorneys who have moved; however, there are still over 1,000 claimants who have not cashed their payments and who cannot be found. Please help us get the word out so that we can find every person whose claim is approved for payment. Please keep your name and contact information updated.
A second reason why checks have gone stale is because claimants are now deceased, and it can be difficult locating relatives, or locating the personal representative or Executor of the claimant's estate. The Settlement Facility can issue payments to the properly appointed probate representative. For information on what types of probate documents are acceptable, contact the Settlement Facility directly.
To contact the Settlement Facility or to update your address or contact information, send a letter to the Settlement Facility at:
P.O. Box 52429
Houston, TX 77052-2429
You can also send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call them toll free at -866-874-6099.
UPDATE ON MOTION FOR PARTIAL PREMIUM PAYMENTS
The motion requesting the Court's approval to issue a partial 50% Premium Payment to women who did not receive this payment earlier is pending before the District Court. The last briefs were submitted in May 2017. We do know when the Court may rule on the motion.
We have received questions from claimants about when the final 50% Premium Payment may be issued. This decision to recommend Premium Payments will be made by the Finance Committee, not the CAC. The Finance Committee consists of the Claims Administrator - Ann Phillips, the Appeals Judge -- Pam Harwood, and the Special Master -- Francis McGovern. We have and will continue to urge the Finance Committee to make these payments as soon as possible; however, since we are about 21 months away from the final claims deadline and closing of the Settlement Facility on June 3, 2019, we believe it is likely that the Finance Committee will wait for this deadline to pass before making any decision on Premium Payments.
As soon as we know anything more about Premium Payments, we will update everyone by this newsletter, our website, and our Facebook page -- "Claimants' Advisory Committee, Dow Corning Breast Implant Claims."
REMINDER: THE FINAL DEADLINE TO SUBMIT NEW CLAIMS
IS JUNE 3, 2019
The final deadline to submit a new claim for either Expedited Release or Disease is June 3, 2019. This means that your claim form and supporting documents must be postmarked on or before June 3, 2019. If they are postmarked after this date, the claim will be permanently denied.
Here is the link to download the Expedited Release / Disease claim form and Instructions: http://www.tortcomm.org/sfdct_forms.shtml
An Expedited Release Payment is a payment to claimants who have or had a Dow Corning breast implant (saline or silicone gel) who do not intend to file a disease claim. Women must submit the Proof of Manufacturer form and supporting documents showing they have an eligible Dow Corning breast implant, and they must also submit the Expedited Release / Disease claim form and check Box 2A. No other documents or proof is required. Women in Class 5 (U.S. women) can receive $2,000 for an Expedited Release payment. Claims processing is current so approved payments can be issued pretty quickly.
The Expedited Release / Disease claim form is available in English and for claimants in Classes 6.1 and 6.2 (non-U.S. countries), the claim form and instructions are available in German, French, Swedish, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish.
NOT SURE ABOUT THE STATUS OF YOUR CLAIM? CONTACT THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY
If you are not sure about the status of your claim or need a copy of your claim file, you can call the Settlement Facility toll free at 1-866-874-6099 or send them at email at email@example.com. The Claimants' Advisory Committee does not have access to claim files, so we cannot answer these questions. You must call the Settlement Facility. They can also provide you with a free copy of your claim file and send you claim forms.
DISEASE GUIDELINES AVAILABLE TO ASSIST YOU WITH FILING A DISEASE CLAIM
The most commonly filed and approved disease claim is for Atypical Connective Tissue Disease (ACTD) in Disease Option 1. To help women better understand what is needed to successfully submit an ACTD claim, the CAC -- working together with the Settlement Facility - prepared a "Guidelines" document for each disease, including ACTD. The Guidelines go through each symptom and describe what the medical records must include for that symptom to be accepted by the Settlement Facility. They also describe the language and criteria needed to qualify for a disability level. We urge everyone who is considering filing a disease claim to first go through the Guidelines and make sure that your medical documentation meets the criteria and that you have all the required documents before you file the disease claim.
Here's the link to the disease page with all the Guidelines: http://www.tortcomm.org/diseaseclaims.shtml
If you want to file a disease claim, you must submit the Proof of Manufacturer form and supporting documents and the Expedited Release / Disease claim form. The Settlement Facility will not review a disease claim unless you also submit the Proof of Manufacturer form and documents.
Claims forms are available on our website at: http://www.tortcomm.org/sfdct_forms.shtml
DEADLINE AND OTHER REMINDERS
KEEP CONTACT INFORMATION UPDATED WITH THE SETTLEMENT FACILITY: Keep all information regarding a claimant's name, address, phone number, email address, and attorney information current with the Settlement Facility. Attorneys and law firms should also keep their contact information current with the Settlement Facility. Many claimants have been approved for payments but they have moved and have not provided a current address. Send all updates to the Settlement Facility at: Settlement Facility, P.O. Box 52429, Houston, TX 77052 or by email to: 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 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.
EXPLANT ASSISTANCE: The Explant Assistance program in the Dow Corning Settlement Facility expired in 2014. In addition, the MDL 926 Revised Settlement Program that covered other manufacturers like Bristol, Baxter, and 3M closed in 2010 so there are NO explant benefits available from either settlement. HOWEVER, if you still are implanted and need financial assistance to have the breast implants removed, you may be eligible for some financial assistance from a separate program. Contact Jeff Condra at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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)
Increased Severity claims in Disease Option 1 and Disease Option 2 for all approved disease claims in Classes 5, 6.1, and 6.2.
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.