CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Dow Corning Breast Implant / Bankruptcy Settlement
Volume 14, No. 13, October 25, 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.
SETTLEMENT FACILITY CURRENT IN PROCESSING CLAIMS
The Settlement Facility is current in reviewing disease claims and claims for Expedited Release. This means that if you submit your claim forms now, they can be reviewed and, if approved, paid without any delays. We anticipate that many claimants may decide to wait until the closing deadline of June 3, 2019 to submit claim forms. This will result in delays in having your claim reviewed and paid, and you also run the risk of missing the deadline and having your claim permanently denied. We urge everyone to act now to avoid delay at the end of the settlement. Claim forms are available online at http://www.tortcomm.org/sfdct_forms.shtml or on the Settlement Facility website at: https://www.sfdct.com/_sfdct/index.cfm/how-to-file-a-claim-for-benefits/.
Mail claim forms and all documents and correspondence about your claim to the Settlement Facility at the following address:
P.O. Box 52429
Houston, TX 77052-2429
You can also send an email to the Settlement Facility at: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call them toll free at: 1-866-874-6099. The CAC does not have access to claimant files, so we cannot answer questions about your claim status. You must contact the Settlement Facility for this information.
REASONS WHY CLAIMS ARE NOT APPROVED
There are certain "deficiencies" that prevent a claim from being approved or paid. Please review the common deficiencies below to make sure you submit all the information needed to have your claim approved:
● Missing probate information -- if a claimant is deceased, appropriate probate documents must be submitted showing the court appointment of an Executor or Administrator. Check with the Settlement Facility for what is needed before you submit your claim. Once the appropriate documents are provided, the Settlement Facility will issue a check to that person (and to the attorney of record if one is listed).
● Missing foreign identification -- if you are not a citizen of the United States, you must submit a photo ID such as a passport or national ID card to the Settlement Facility. If you do not do so, your claim cannot be paid.
● Claim form not signed -- all claim forms must be signed. The signature line is at the bottom of the last page of the claim form.
● The claimant has moved and cannot be located to send her payment. This also applies to the attorney of record. Please remember to update any change of information about your name, address, phone, email, or other information.
● For Disease claims: you do not need to prove that your breast implants caused your disease. However, eligible symptoms cannot be directly related to some other cause, such as a car accident.
Other common reasons Disease claims receive a deficiency notice:
• Not enough symptoms documented -- review the Guidelines posted online at http://www.tortcomm.org/diseaseclaims.shtml and make sure that your medical records contain all of the symptoms required to have your disease claim approved.
• Symptoms existed prior to the first breast implantation -- for a symptom to be counted as eligible, it must not be documented in your medical records before your first breast implant surgery.
• Medical records documenting the symptom were not submitted. Review the Guidelines carefully to make sure that all needed medical records are included in your claim, i.e., lab results, physician's notes, etc.
• There is conflicting information about your symptoms in your medical records.
• No disability statement is attached or no level of disability is noted in the medical records. The Disease Guidelines detail what is needed for each disease to qualify. Most diseases, such as Atypical Connective Tissue Disease (ACTD) require a disability statement. The CAC website also has a sample disability statement for ACTD online: http://www.tortcomm.org/submissionissues.shtml
CHECK OUT THE CAC'S WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR INFORMATION, CLAIM FORMS, AND UPDATES
The CAC's website -- www.tortcomm.org -- has copies of all claim forms, orders, motions and pleadings, sample disability statements, and links to other websites. The CAC also has a Facebook page where we are trying to reach as many claimants and attorneys as possible to inform them about the June 3, 2019 deadline for the closing of the Settlement Facility and to find "lost" claimants who may have an approved payment. The Facebook page is at: Claimants' Advisory Committee, Dow Corning Breast Implant Settlement.
UPDATE ON MOTION FOR PARTIAL PREMIUM PAYMENTS
There is no news from our last update (see below). We do not know when the Court will rule on the recommendation to complete partial Premium Payments to those who did not receive the payment several years ago.
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.
CLAIM PAYMENT UPDATES
An updated payment chart is available on the CAC website -- www.tortcomm.org. To date, the Settlement Facility has paid 136,539 approved claims totaling $1,346,826,908.
The Settlement Plan does not require claimants to have an attorney to submit a claim. In fact, claims for Expedited Release do not allow attorney fees to be deducted from the award. Claimants with Disease claims who are represented by an attorney knowledgeable about the Settlement Plan have, historically, had their disease claim approved more frequently than claimants who are unrepresented. The CAC does maintain a list of attorneys / law firms who are willing to represent claimants on Disease claims. For more information, call the CAC at 419-394-0717 or send us an email at: email@example.com. We do not endorse any attorney or law firm or accept referral fees from any of these firms.
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.