SITE NEWS UPDATES:  Updated - December 26, 2010

*** Breaking Breast Implant News ***


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 12/26/10

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

    A) MDL-926 CLASS ACTION IS NOW CLOSED
 
   
B) BAD NEWS RESULTS FROM THE 6TH CIRCUIT

Read Full Update


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 12/07/10

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A  

MDL-926 TO CLOSE FOR GOOD ON DECEMBER 15, 2010
 

B   UPDATES ON THE THREE  LETTERS SENT BY THE SF-DCT
 
C  

PREMIUM PAYMENTS
 

D  

STATUS OF CATEGORY 7 CLAIMS
 

Read Full Update

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A   STATUS OF APPEALS TO 6th CIRCUIT ON “A” DISABILITY AND TISSUE EXPANDERS ISSUES; 
 
B   UPDATE ON INDEPENDENT ASSESSOR REPORT REGARDING PREMIUM PAYMENTS     
 
C   DEADLINE REMINDERS;
 
D   CLAIMS ADMINISTRATORS UPDATE
 

READ FULL 10/13/09 NEWS UPDATE


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 06/12/09

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A   Court Rules in Favor of the Claimant Advisory Committee on “Disability A” Motion.
 
B   Contacting our office before the MDL-926 (RSP) deadline
 
C   Status of Disease Claims processing
 
D   Deadline Reminders
 
E   Referrals from other Law Firms

READ FULL 06/12/09 NEWS UPDATE

 


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 01/22/09

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A   Rupture Issues
B   Deadline Reminder to Settling Late Claimants
C   Class 7 (Silicone Gel Claim fund) – Disease Cash-Out Offers
D   Deadline Reminders
E   Status of Premium Payments
F   Cure Deadline of March 2, 2009 for Certain “ANDS” Claims
G   “ACTD” Claim Criteria Released

READ FULL 01/22/09 NEWS UPDATE


** PERSONAL COMMENTARY - Updated 10/21/08 **

This is my first personal commentary for the Law Offices of Stephen M. Frailich.  My name is Reena B. Frailich and I am an attorney working with Mr. Frailich.  Contrary to popular belief I am not Mr. Frailich’s wife but his cousin, in case you were curious. 

This year, 2008, is an extremely exciting year for the Dow Corning Class Action.  In 2008 there has been a significant amount of our clients settling their disease claims for Option 1, Atypical Connective Tissue Disease (ACTD).  That of course is the good news. The bad news is that the Claims Board is still not current with their review of Option 2 claims.  There is approximately a three year wait time before an Option 2 disease claim for General Connective Tissue Symptoms (GCTS) claim is reviewed. 

Even though there is progress there are also frustrations with this class action. 

Frustration # 1:  There is a Long Wait Time for Option 2 Disease Claims.

Read More....


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 08/18/08

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A

 

Deadline Reminders

B

 

Recent Ruling by District Court regarding Rupture Appeals

C

 

Pending Motions 

D

 

Status of Disease Processing at the Settlement Facility 

E

 

Class 7-Silicone Material Gel Claims

F

 

Update on Notice of Intent Claims

G

 

Premium Payments for Dow Corning Breast Implant Claimants

READ FULL 08/18/08 NEWS UPDATE


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 05/30/08

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A

 

MDL-926 Class Action will be closing on 12/15/10
 

B

 

What is Deadline in which to file a Disease Claim?
 

C

 

Claimants who have an Approved Rupture Claim, will at least “DOUBLE” their Disease Claim settlement under the Fixed Amount Benefit Schedule.  However they will lose this benefit if their Disease Claim is not settled prior to 12/15/10.
 
D   Claimants who have received only a $5,000 Advance Payment and also have a a Dow Corning implant, cannot” receive a settlement for their Disease Claim in the Dow Corning Class Action until their Disease Claim is settled “first” in the MDL-926 Class Action.
 
E   Claimants who have an Approved Rupture Claim, and also a Dow Corning implant, will only receive 50% of their Rupture Benefits in the MDL-926 Class Action and “WILL NOT” receive the other 50% in the Dow Corning Class Action.
 
F   What are the rights of Current Claimants, Other Registrants and Late Registrations?
 
G   What happens if the MDL Claims Board reduces my Disease Claim by 50% because I allegedly have a Dow implant, but the Dow Claims Board rejects my claim? Will the MDL Claims Board pay me the missing 50%?

MDL-926 CLASS ACTION WILL BE CLOSING ON 12/15/10

The MDL-926 Class Action will be closing permanently on 12/15/10. If you received a Bristol, Baxter or 3M implant before June 1, 1993 and have not registered in the MDL-926 Class Action, it is still not too late to register. If you received a McGhan implant between 8/3/84 and 12/31/91 and have not registered in the MDL-926 Class Action, it also is not too late to register.

If you are not sure if you are registered, you should contact the Claims Board at (800)600-0311. Your social security number would be your Registration Number. In order to qualify for any benefits, a claimant must have acceptable proof of their implant brand.

If you find out that you are registered and do not remember if you have received any settlement money, you should ask the Claims Board if you received a $1,000 or $5,000 Advance Payment? If the Claims Board informs you that you previously received a $5,000 Advance Payment, then you are classified as a Current Claimant, and you have valuable rights that will be lost if your claim is not settled before 12/15/10.

If the Claims Board informs you that you previously received a $1,000 Advance Payment, then you are classified as an Other Registrant, and you also have valuable rights that will be lost if your claim is not settled before 12/15/10. The rights of Current Claimants, Other Registrants and Late Registrants will be discussed further in this update.

READ FULL 05/30/08 NEWS UPDATE


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 02/21/08

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A

 

Class 7-Silicone Gel Material Claims
 

B

 

Update on Payments of “Additional” and “Premium” Payments to Claimants in Classes 9 and 10-Covered Other Products
 

C

 

Update on processing and payment of Notice of Intent or conditional Claimant claims
 

D   DEADLINES

CLASS 7-SILICONE GEL MATERIAL CLAIMS

Approximately 11,848 Class 7 claims have been approved for either an Expedited Release Payment ($600) or a Disease Cash Out ($3,000). The total fund is $57.5 million and $16 million has been paid out to date. The SF-DCT expects to complete all Proof of Manufacturer reviews within the next year.

As POM claims are being approved, the SF-DCT will send either the Expedited Release Payment to eligible claimants who selected this option or a Disease Cash Out Offer to claimants who selected the disease review. There is approximately 10,263 Proof of Manufacturer files pending review, and 872 Disease claims pending review, mostly in Disease Option 1. At this time the SF-DCT is “not” processing Class 7 Disease claims and likely will not process any disease claims until the POM reviews are complete.

READ FULL NEWS UPDATE 


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 11/02/07

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A

 

Important Deadline Information on NOI Settlements;

B

 

When Premium Payments will be paid;

C

 

Class 7-Silicone Gel Materials Claims

IMPORTANT DEADLINE INFORMATION ON NOI SETTLEMENTS 

As reported in the last update, a settlement has been reached which allows NOI Claimants to have their claims for Explant, Rupture and Expedited Release processed and if, eligible, paid. If a NOI claimant has already filed an Explant, Rupture or Expedited Release, they do not need to do anything to accept the NOI Settlement.

The Claims Board has sent out an “Acceptance of NOI Settlement” form to all eligible NOI claimants. You can also download a copy of this form on the Claimant Advisory Committee’s web site. If you want the Claims Board to expedite the review and payment of your claim, you will need to complete the “Acceptance of NOI Settlement” form and mail it to the SF-DCT. When the SF-DCT receives the form, they will review your claim, and if approved, will issue payment in accordance with the Consent Order and the Plan.

READ FULL NEWS UPDATE 


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 09/24/07

CONDITIONAL CLAIMANTS ARE NOW ELIGIBLE TO MAKE CLAIMS FOR EXPLANT, RUPTURE AND EXPEDITED BENEFITS

A “Conditional Claimant” also known as a “NOI Claimant” is a claimant who filed their Notice of Intent form (NOI) or Proof of Claim form (POC) after November 20, 1999 (which is the date the bankruptcy court approved the Joint Plan of Reorganization of Dow Corning) and before August 20, 2004 (the deadline to file an NOI form). 

A “Conditional Claimant” was also someone who may have filed their Notice of Intent form before the November 30, 1999 deadline, but did not file a Proof of Claim form pursuant to Paragraph 10 of the Confirmation Order......

NEW DEADLINES FOR EXPLANT AND RUPTURE CLAIMS FOR NOI CLAIMANTS ONLY

NOI Claimants will have only “ONE YEAR” to submit a claim for Explant and Rupture benefits. This means that you must have your Dow Corning breast implants removed and your Explant and Rupture claim forms sent to the Settlement Facility within the next year to qualify for these benefits.

READ FULL NEWS UPDATE


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 08/10/07

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

A   New Cure deadlines for Disease and Rupture claims;
B   Conditional Claimants may be entitled to Explant and Rupture Benefits
C   When Premium Payments will be paid;
D   Breast Implants linked to higher suicide risks
E   Deficiencies in Disease Claims Deficiencies in Disease Claims

READ THE FULL UPDATE:


*** BREAKING NEWS UPDATE 02/10/07 ***

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:

(A)   Class 7- Should I accept the $3,000 settlement offer?
 
(B)   Class 7- I received a letter saying I am not eligible because I did not file a Benefit Schedule Option Form in the MDL-926 Class Action
 
(C)   Waiting time for Claims Processing and Payments
 
(D)   EXTENSION OF THE JANUARY 17, 2007 CURE DEADLINE
 
(E)   Claimants in the MDL-926 Class Action who have been denied benefits because they signed a Release in the MDL-926 Class Action before 1994
 
(F)   Denial of Rupture claims in Dow Class Action

READ THE FULL UPDATE:


BREAKING NEWS UPDATE - 09/02/06

The areas that will be covered in this newest update are as follows:
 
(A)   Why has only 279 Disease Option 2 claims been approved, while 10,511  Disease Option 1 claims have been approved?
 
(B)   What a claimant can do if their Disease Option 1 Level A claim was denied, but accepted at Level B?
 
(C)   What happens if your claim in the MDL-926 Class Action was reduced by 50% because you had a Dow Corning implant and the SFDCT has rejected your Proof of Manufacturer claim for your Dow Corning implant?
 
(D)   Rupture claims that are still being denied, when supporting documents  describe the implants as “leaking”
 
(E)   Waiting time for Claims Processing and Payments
 
(F)  

Notice of Intent (NOI) claimants still not entitled to Rupture or Explant Benefits
 

READ THE FULL UPDATE:

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE - 05/17/06
Many of the new issues are covered in the updated 5/10/06  “Personal Commentary”. The areas that will be covered in this update are as follows:
 
(A)   Deadline for filing a Rupture Claim;
 
(B)   Deadline for filing a Class 7, 9, 10.1 and 10.2 claim
 
(C)   Real time waiting estimate for the SFDCT’s processing disease claims
 
(D)   Does your claim fit into the 5% of Option 1 Level A claims that are accepted?
 

READ THE FULL UPDATE:

PERSONAL COMMENTARY - 5/10/06

It has been over one year since my last commentary, and a lot has happened in that one year in the Dow Corning Class Action. We have a new Claims Administrator, a major legal battle will be coming to a head before Judge Hood as it pertains to the denial of Level A claims, some deadlines have been extended once again, claims are being denied, claims are being paid, and claimants who have been waiting for their settlements over 13 years have been dying.      Read More....

February 27, 2006

As per my promise, here is the newest update. The areas that will be covered in this update are as follows:

(a)   Options for claimants who received $5,000 in the MDL-926 Class Action, and   their claim is still not settled:
 
(b)   Options for registered claimants of the Dow Class Action, who still do not have proof of their implant brand;
 
(c)   SFDCT denials of Disease Option One Level A claims;
 
(d)   SFDCT revised reviews of denied Rupture Claims;
 
(e)   SFDCT Claims Administrator, David Austern;
 

READ THE FULL UPDATE:

November 4, 2005

For those of you that have been asking, here is the newest update. I will keep with my promise to “not” write in “legalese.” The areas that will be covered in this update are as follows:

(a)   Attorney Referrals
 
(b)   Problems with the SFDCT reviews of “Rupture Claims
 
(c)   Dow Corning change of position on post 1971 Cronin     implants
 
(d)   Problems with the Explant Assistance Program
 
(e)   Extension of Deficiency Deadlines
 
(f)   Estimated waiting time of the SFDCT for reviewing claims

READ THE FULL UPDATE:

July 27, 2005

For those of you that have been asking, here is the newest update. I will keep with my promise to “not” write in “legalese.” The areas that will be covered in this update are as follows:

  (a)    Status of doctors on the quality assurance or watch list.
 
  (b)  

Claims that are being denied because the medical report does not list Dow Corning or uses the small letter “s” for silicone/silastic in reports from 1970 and 1971.
 

  (c)   Claimants who have received a deficiency notice from the SFDCT on their medical claim and the one year deadline is approaching.
 
  (d)   Claimants who received a 50% settlement in the MDL-926 Class Action and the SFDCT has rejected their Dow proof and cannot recover the other 50%.
 
  (e)   Claimants who received a 50% settlement in the MDL-926 Class Action and the SFDCT is approving their medical settlement at a lower level than was accepted in the MDL-926 Class Action.
 
  (f)   What is happening with claims that were filed after November of 1999 and before August 31, 2004, that have been put on hold?
 
  (g)   Denial of proof claims for Cronin implants received after 1971.
 
  (h)   What can I do if my attorney will not return my calls or answer my questions and I do not know what is going on with my claim?
 

READ THE FULL UPDATE:

APRIL 21, 2005

The areas that will be covered in this update are as follows:

  (a)     Approximate Response time from SFDCT to process explant, rupture and medical claims
       
  (b)   Denial of proof claims for claimants who received Cronin implants after 1971
       
  (c)   Potential remedies for individuals who did not file a claim within 90 days of the June 1, 2004 deadline
       
  (d)   Denials of rupture claims

The following information was obtained directly from the SFDCT, and should only be used as an approximate reference guide as to the length of time it will take for the SFDCT to process claims. This information was obtained from the SFDCT as of March 2005.

READ MORE

SEPTEMBER 1, 2004

Now that the Dow Plan has started, there are many areas of concern that are involving many claimants. If you have any of the following problems, we may be able to help you:
 
1)  DID YOU RECEIVE CRONIN IMPLANTS AFTER 1971 AND THE SFDCT HAS REJECTED YOUR PROOF?
 
2)  DID YOU RECEIVE A LETTER FROM THE SFDCT, SAYING YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DOW PLAN UNLESS YOU HAVE A “MATCH” TO A CO-DEBTOR CLAIM UNDER RULE 3005? (MANY CLAIMANTS HAVE RECEIVED THIS LETTER EVEN THOUGH THEIR PROOF DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN ALREADY ACCEPTED)

JUNE 1, 2004

Most of you would never believe this day would finally come. On May 20, 2004, Judge Denise Page Hood signed an Order authorizing the payment of First Priority Payments of Allowed Claims beginning on June 1st and continuing until further order of the Court.
On May 11, 2004, I was given a tour of the SFDCT Settlement Facility and met with Wendy Huber, the Claims Administrator. I was informed that over $40 million dollars in payments will be made by the SFDCT in the latter part of June, to claimants whose claims have been submitted and who have acceptable proof. The offices of the Settlement Facility and their staff was very, very impressive.
 
If you have not already received a "Waiver of Opt Out Form" from the SFDCT, on June 1st, the SFDCT will mail a "Participation Form" to all Personal Injury Claimants who have not already waived their right to opt-out of the Settlement Facility.You can use the Participation Form to do three things: (1) inform the SFDCT of your decision to remain in the Settlement Facility; (2) Opt-out of the Settlement Facility to pursue your claim in court against the Litigation Facility; (3) withdraw your claim from the Dow Corning bankruptcy case.

APRIL 12, 2004

On April 2, 2004, Judge Denise Page Hood entered an Order setting the Effective Date for June 1, 2004. This means that approved claims can begin to be paid by the Settlement Facility beginning later in June. This also means that New Claimants will only have 89 DAYS after June 1, 2004, in which to register with the SFDCT by filing a "Notice of Intent" form. If YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED, you should do so ASAP! Once this deadline passes, no new claimants will be allowed to register in the Dow Corning Class Action.

MARCH 30, 2004

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit entered an Order granting the dismissal of the Nevadan's appeal. The Court can been requested to set an Effective Date of June 1, 2004. The Effective Date has not been set yet; this is only a proposed Effective Date. When the Court rules, an update will be posted on this website.

*** IMPORTANT UPDATE  3/20/04 ***

"GREAT NEWS"

We have raised approximately $330,000 in cash and pledges into the Escrow Account, notwithstanding the attempts by the TCC to pour cold water over the funding of this account. Geoff White, the attorney for the 48 Nevadan Claimants, has finally agreed to accept this compromised amount. This means once the pledges has been collected and the $330,000 is in place, this money will be tendered to Geoff White, who will then dismiss his Appeal.
READ MORE

FEBRUARY 26, 2004

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has scheduled oral argument on the last remaining Appeal for April 21, 2004.

*** IMPORTANT UPDATE  2/9/04 ***

GOOD NEWS……BAD NEWS……. POSSIBLY GREAT NEWS!

As you know, the reason claimants cannot get paid at the present time while the Nevadans' Appeal before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is still pending, is because Dow Corning and Dow Chemical's insistence they will not allow the bankruptcy settlement and Plan to go forward so long as "any" Appeal of the release of Dow Chemical from liability is pending.  *** As of 3/20/04, there is $330,000 in the Escrow Account, from cash and pledges.....GREAT NEWS!   READ MORE

*** As of 3/12/04, there is $300,000 in the Escrow Account, from cash and pledges.

*** As of 3/1/04, there is $281,550 in the Escrow Account, from cash and pledges.

** UPDATE - **On February 9, 2004, there was $30,000 plus $20,000 in pledges in the Escrow Account. As of February 18, 2004, there was $65,000 in the Escrow Account.

READ MORE

NOVEMBER 1, 2003

On October 30, 2003, the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ordered that the Nevada appeal be scheduled for oral argument "at the earliest practicable date." This is the last appeal remaining challenging the Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization of Dow Corning. As soon as this appeal is resolved, the Amended Joint Plan can go "effective" and allow claims to be paid.

In related news, the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit rejected, for the third time, the brief submitted by the Korean claimants that challenges Judge Hood's Order allowing Australian claims to be processed in Australia. The Court of Appeals returned the brief and reset the briefing schedule. Please note that the appeal will not hold up an Effective Date once the Nevada appeal is resolved. The Korean appeal relates only to the order on the Australian processing option; it does not affect the overall appeal of the Amended Joint Plan.

When there is a new hearing date or any other developments in the case, this page will be updated.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2003

Due to pressures from the breast implant manufacturers, the FDA plans to put silicone implants back on the market, without adequate research. In 1992, due to serious concerns about the safety of breast implants, the FDA placed restrictions on them. Most silicone gel breast implants eventually rupture, and release chemicals into the body. Silicone implants have harmed hundreds of thousands of women and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Why is the FDA  preparing to approve silicone breast implants on October 15, 2003?

 
This is quite ironic, in the other branch of the U.S. Government is trying to collect millions of dollars from either the MDL-926 or the breast implant manufacturers or claimants who received explant benefits, for moneys paid by Medicare for explantation of breast implants. The other branch of the U.S. Government (FDA) is now considering putting silicone breast implants back on the market.
 
You should go to www.stopsilicone.org to send an email to the FDA telling them that there is inadequate research on the safety of breast implants. You can also send the FDA information about your experiences with implants.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2003

For women who have or had a Dow Corning breast implant, there are two new ways to meet "acceptable" proof of manufacturer. First, Dow Corning has acknowledged that there may be references in medical records to "Rubin" implants or labels that state, "Silastic Mammary Implant Rubin Design High Profile Contour, Q7-2573." This implant was commercially available during 1984 through 1986. It is Dow Corning's historical understanding that Dr. Rubin worked solely with DCC. Credible, contemporaneous documents identifying the claimant's breast implants as Rubin implants, Rubin Design implants or Q7-2573 implants would be deemed Acceptable proof of manufacturer for implants implanted between 1984 and 1986. Any claim outside these years containing Rubin, Rubin Design or Q7-2573 should employ the waiver/IRP process.

Dow Corning has also acknowledged that approximately 50 breast implant claimants were implanted by Dr. Ben Gregory of Florida as part of a Dow Corning-sponsored clinical study. Dow Corning has supplied the names of the study participants to the Settlement Facility and acknowledged that these 50 persons will have acceptable proof of manufacturer of a Dow Corning breast implant. If you were implanted by Dr. Ben Gregory or believe that you were a participant in the Ben Gregory clinical study, call the Claims Assistance Program toll free within the U.S. and Canada at 1-866-6099 for more information.

Further, if you participated in the Dow Corning Removal Assistance Program (RAP) or the Product Replacement Expense Program (PREP), then Dow Corning has provided your name and implant information to the Settlement Facility. The existing product identification protocols provide that you have acceptable proof of manufacturer of a Dow Corning breast implant. Call the Claims Assistance toll free within the U.S. and Canada at 1-866-874-6099 for more information.

If you or your physicians sent your implants to Dow Corning at any time, then Dow Corning may still have the implant in its possession. Dow corning has provided a list of names of persons who sent them implants. You can call Claims Assistance to determine if your implants are at Dow Corning. If they are, then you may request that Dow Corning either return the implants to you or conduct a review to determine if Dow Corning made the implants. Contact the Claims Assistance Program for more information.

In other news in the MDL proceeding in Alabama, the presiding MDL Judge U.W. Clemon announced on September 22, 2003, that the MDL Claims Administrator, Ann Tyrell Cochran, had resigned. The Claims Administrator for the Settlement Facility-Dow Corning Trust is Elizabeth "Wendy" Trachte-Huber. She has served as Claims Administrator for the Settlement Facility since December 2000. The resignation of the MDL Claims Administrator will not have any effect on the Dow Corning bankruptcy proceeding or Settlement Facility.

JULY 18 2003:

On July 17, 2003, Judge Hood entered an Order granting the Motion of Dow Corning to approve claim processing Australia for certain breast implant claimants. The order also overruled the objections filed by the Korean claimants. Under the terms of the motion, the Australian Claimants must file a dismissal of their appeal pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit no later than one business day after the Order if final and non-appealable. 

Once this happens, then only one appeal with remain (appeal of certain Nevadan claimants). It is anticipated that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit will schedule a date for oral argument in the near future, and they will issue an opinion and order."

JULY 11 2003:

On July 8, 2003, a hearing was held before Judge Hood on the motion by the Tort Claimants Committee and Dow Corning that would allow the processing of certain Australian claims in Australia. One objection to this motion was filed by Yeon-Ho Kim, who represented approximately 2,500 Korean claimants.

Judge Hood heard oral arguments from Dow Corning and Mr. Kim and took the motion under consideration. She did not issue an opinion or order at the hearing. If the motion is granted, then the Australians who are currently pursuing an appeal of the Plan of Confirmation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit have agreed to withdraw their appeal. If they withdraw their appeal, then only one appeal will be remaining (the appeal of certain Nevada claimants). No claims can be paid until all appeals are resolved and the Effective Date of the Plan occurs.

JUNE 26 2003:

On June 18, 2003, the Tort Claimants Committee and Dow Corning filed a motion before Judge Denise Hood requesting approval for claim processing in Australia for certain breast implant claimants in Classes 6.1 and 7. If approved, the proposal would resolve one of the two remaining appeals pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The proposal would allow certain Australian breast implant claimants who either filed a timely Proof of Claim or who asserted a claim against Dow Corning or Dow Corning Australia in an Australian court, either individually or as a member of a class, to submit their claim to an Independent Claim Reviewer in Australia. The claims would be processed using the protocols and qualification criteria already defined for Class 6D (an existing Australian that allowed processing in Australia) and would use the compensation categories already in the Plan for Classes 6.1 and 6D. The maximum liability for payment of these claims would be $10 million (U.S.).

The Plan Proponents have requested expedited consideration of the motion. A hearing is scheduled for July 8, 2003, in Detroit before Judge Hood. The Plan Proponents have requested expedited consideration of the motion to avoid causing any further delay in the pending appeals before the Sixth Circuit Court. The Plan Proponents have reserved the right to withdraw from the proposal for the claim processing in Australia if it appears that the Effective Date will be delayed or claim processing would be complicated in any way as a consequence of filing the motion.

MAY 2003:

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a schedule to submit briefs on the two remaining appeals in the Dow Corning bankruptcy case. The first brief is due on April 21 with a reply brief due by May 21, with the final briefs being due June 18th. The Court has agreed to expedite the appeals. It is not known when the Court will announce its ruling on the appeals.

I understand many recipients of Dow Corning implants whose unresolved claims are going on "ten years" have completely lost faith in the legal system, are fed up with what they see as "corporate greed and irresponsibility," feel completely abandoned by the medical profession and feel there will not be a settlement in their lifetime. For these claimants (which also include many of my own clients) who have been getting sicker and sicker and realize no amount of money will bring back the good health and years they have lost, I can only pray and hope that the Dow Plan will finally start this year so this endless merry go round can stop. For my clients, and future clients, I will do everything possible to expedite your settlements once the Effective Date of the Plan is announced.

FEBRUARY 2003:

On December 11, 2002, Judge Denise Page Hood entered an order that allows claim form packages to be mailed to all claimants and law firms during the week of February 18, 2003. These packages will contain forms for you to submit proof of your product identification and to apply for settlement benefits.

Two appeals were filed to Judge Hood's December 11, 2002, Order approving the settlement plan. The appeals were filed on behalf of certain Nevada claimants and certain Australian claimants. The sole issue on appeal is whether the release of third party non-debtors (such as shareholders and insurers of the debtor" Dow Corning) is legally valid. The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has not set a schedule for when the appeals will be heard. The Tort Claimants Committee and Dow Corning are filing a motion requesting that the court expedite the appeals. If granted, this could mean a quicker, and perhaps final decision in the bankruptcy case. Once there is a final decision, claims can be paid.

DECEMBER 16 2002:

On December 11, 2002, Judge Denise Page Hood, United States District Judge, issued a 36 page opinion relating to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals January 29, 2002 Opinion regarding the Dow Corning Corporation bankruptcy. The Sixth Circuit previously held that non-consenting creditors may be enjoined from filing claims against non-debtors if certain factors were met. The Sixth Circuit remanded the matter for further findings on these factors. In her Opinion, Judge Hood finds that there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the release and injunction under the Joint Plan.

The Court also issued an Order authorizing the Settlement Facility to mail the Claims Form Packages during the week of February 18, 2003. Participation Forms will not be mailed with the Claim Forms and will be mailed at a future date following the Effective Date of the Joint Plan.

What does this mean in plain English?  This means the Claims Forms will be mailed out during the week of February 18, 2003, and the claims will be processed. BUT no one will be getting paid until the appeals are completely resolved. There is no effective date of the Plan yet.

The Appellants have 30 days to seek a rehearing from Judge Hood or they can appeal it to the Sixth Circuit Court. However, it is my opinion that the ruling from Judge Hood will make it pretty rough to appeal this issue further, and the Sixth Circuit has ruled on this issue already. If there is an appeal to the Sixth Circuit and this is denied, they could appeal to the Supreme Court.

OCTOBER 11 2002:

The United States Supreme Court ruled on October 7, 2002, DENYING the request by certain Nevadan objectors to hear their appeal. This means that the Supreme Court will not hear any appeal at this time on the Dow Corning bankruptcy Settlement Plan.

The Settlement Plan is presently pending before US District Court Judge Denise Page Hood on the issue of whether sufficient facts were produced at the confirmation hearing in 1999 to support the release of liability of Dow Chemical and other third parties. Most experts feel that there are sufficient facts in the trial records to support the release of Dow Chemical and other third parties. The Settlement Plan cannot begin until all of the appeals are resolved. As soon as Judge Hood makes her ruling on the appeal, I will post an immediate update on this website.

SEPTEMBER 25, 2002:

On September 19, 2002, the U.S. District Court entered an order approving the settlement negotiated by the Plaintiff Tort Committee and Dow Corning and the U.S. Government. The settlement resolves claims filed by various federal agencies seeking reimbursement of expenses incurred on behalf of implants claimants (e.g., claims for removal of Dow Corning breast implants incurred by Medicare or other federal agencies). The appeal involving additional findings of act on the third-party non-debtor release is still pending before the District Court. There will be an update to this page when the Court enters an order regarding the release appeal.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2002:

The issues of additional findings of fact that support the release of third party non-debtors in the Dow Corning settlement plan has been briefed and argued to the US District Court. The matter is presently under submission, and as soon as there is a ruling, the decision will be posted to this update page. Once the US District Court rules, there will more then likely be another round of appeals to the US Court of Appeals to the 6th Circuit. We do not know how much longer the appeals may take, as this depends on the schedule of the courts.

The motion by the Nevadan objectors asking the US Supreme Court to accept its appeal is also pending. The US Supreme Court is not in session at the present time, so no decision on the motion is expected until the Court resumes its session in October 2002.

It appears there has been a settlement with the US Government, so the only remaining issues to be resolved has to do with the appeals filed by certain Nevada and Australian claimants and several claimants who are representing themselves without an attorney. These objectors want the ability to collect money from Dow Corning in the Settlement Plan AND also be able to sue Dow Chemical and/or other related companies outside of the bankruptcy court proceedings.

All signatures to the proposed settlement of the US Government's claims have been obtained and submitted to the US District Court. The matter is now under submission to Judge Denise Page Hood.

There is no new information on when the claim form packages will be mailed. On July 22, 2002, the Tort Claimants Committee sent a letter to the US District Court urging the Court to mail claims form packages as soon as possible. No action is currently schedules. As soon as we receive any "new" news, we will post an update to this webpage.

JUNE 21, 2002:

Judge Denise Page Hood conducted a hearing on Friday, June 14, 2002. The hearing concerned objections and appeals filed by certain Nevada and Australian claimants, and several other claimants who are representing themselves without an attorney. These objectors are arguing that the Dow Plan cannot legally release Dow Chemical (parent company of Dow Corning) and subsidiary companies of Dow Corning from liability for Dow Corning's breast implants. These objectors want the ability to collect money from Dow Corning in the Settlement Plan AND also be able to sue Dow Chemical and other related companies outside of the bankruptcy court proceedings.

In January of 2002, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed their objections and ruled that Dow Chemical and the other related companies could be released from liability for Dow Corning's breast implants as part of a reorganization of Dow Corning in bankruptcy. The 6th Circuit Court sent the case back to Judge Hood for further proceedings to determine if the trial record contained facts that support the release of liability in this case.

Written briefs and objections on the "release" issue were submitted to Judge Hood earlier this year. The Tort Claimants Committee believes that the trial records has sufficient facts in evidence to justify the release of Dow Chemical and the other related companies in this case. The hearing on June 14th was to allow all parties to make any additional oral arguments regarding the release of liability issue. The release of Dow Chemical and the subsidiary companies is the ONLY issue left in the pending appeals.

Judge Hood heard the oral arguments and indicated that she would like to move quickly in issuing a ruling. As soon as she issues her ruling, we will post a new update to this website page.

MAY 2002

My last update of 2/12/02 stated that Judge Hood held an Informal Status conference with the parties to set up its schedules to submit briefs on additional "Findings of Fact," which they were ordered to do by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, before a final Scheduling Order could be entered, in comes the US Government who filed a "Petition for Rehearing" to the Sixth Circuit Court. The Petition asked the court to hold another hearing of the full panel to hear the arguments on whether the Joint Plan can release claims of insurers of third parties.

The Sixth Circuit had already ruled on these issues in its 1/29/02 Order, but the US Government's Petition was asking the Court to reconsider and overturn its earlier ruling. Until the Sixth Circuit ruled on the pending Petition filed by the US Government, Judge Hood, back at the District Court, who does not have jurisdiction over the US Governments objections to the Joint Plan, could not enter a Scheduling Order.

On May 3, 2002, the Sixth Circuit "denied" the motion of the Government to rehear the appeals. On May 13, 2002, the Sixth Circuit issued its mandate officially returning the bankruptcy case back to the US District Court and Judge Denise Hood. It is anticipated that Judge Hood will soon schedule a hearing on the case.

And finally, just recently the Nevada claimants filed a petition to the US Supreme Court asking it to accept the appeal on the Dow Corning settlement plan on the issue of the release of Dow Corning's shareholders. Last week the Supreme Court returned the petition because it exceeded the page limit set by the court. The Nevada claimants have 60 days to refile the petition with the page limits allowed.

When there is a new hearing date or any other developments in the case, this page will be updated.

FEBRUARY 12, 2002:

Judge Denise Page Hood, the federal judge presiding over the Dow Corning bankruptcy case, held an informal status conference on Monday, February 11, 2002. Representatives of the Tort Claimant's Committee attended as did other official committee representatives and those objecting to the settlement plan. A proposed schedule was discussed by all of the parties that would allow for an expedited briefing and submission to Judge Hood on the issues raised by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision. At this time, the schedule for submitting legal briefs and holding a hearing has not been set. When an order is signed with a definite schedule, it will be posted on the Tort Claimant's Committee's website. I will post this information on this "Update" page of my web site. Please check back for an update when the order is signed.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on January 29, 2002, affirming (approving) the Amend Joint Plan of Reorganization of Dow Corning. To read a copy of the opinion, click here

The first issue on appeal was whether a bankruptcy court may enjoin (prevent) objectors from suing a non-debtor corporation (i.e., Dow Corning's shareholders-Dow Chemical and Corning) as part of a reorganization plan in bankruptcy. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the bankruptcy court may do so, and they affirmed (approved) the earlier rulings of the bankruptcy and district courts. However, they sent the case back to the lower court for findings of facts that demonstrate that an injunction was appropriate in this reorganization plan. This means that the district court must issue an order that specifically lists the facts that support her earlier finding that objectors cannot sue a non-debtor (i.e., Dow Chemical and Corning)

As part of this decision, the appeals court found that the reorganization plan did not provide adequate protection to ensure that the claims of the U.S. Government (Class 15) would be paid in full. Specifically, they determined that a procedural mechanism was needed to allow the U.S. Government to assert claims for subrogation under Medicare and other federal programs.

The second issue on appeal was whether the reorganization plan classified foreign claimants appropriately. The court ruled that the plan did treat foreign claimants appropriately and equally with non-foreign claimants under the bankruptcy code, and affirmed (approved) the earlier rulings of the bankruptcy and district courts.

Dow Corning has paid the Initial Payment of approximately $1 billion to the claimant's trust. This money is being invested by the Interim Financial Advisor and is earning interest dedicated solely for claimants. Dow Corning does not get any of the interest earned by the claimant's trust. The Settlement Facility offices are also operational.

While the ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will undoubtedly cause additional, unexpected delays in making payments to claimants, the Tort Claimants Committee will continue to urge the courts to expedite the appeals and rule quickly.

6th Circuit Court of Appeals Schedules Oral Argument

Oral argument on the pending appeals to the Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization of Dow Corning is scheduled for October 23, 2001 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Oral argument is limited to 30 minutes per side. This means that all parties appealing the Joint Plan have a total of 30 minutes to present their case on appeal. Parties opposing the appeals also have a total of 30 minutes to present argument why the plan should remain confirmed (approved). 

In a separate order, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request of the Nevada Claimants and the United States. Both of the parties had asked for separate oral argument, for additional argument time, and for leave to have two counsel argue on their behalf. The Court denied all of these requests and ordered all parties that filed an appeal to consolidate their oral argument, limited to 30 minutes, and limited to one attorney for all appellants.

At this time, the Plan of Reorganization of Dow Corning is still on appeal. The Plan will not be effective (meaning final and able to be fully implemented) until all appeals are concluded. There will not be any payment of claims until the Plan is effective. 

However, the independent claims office that will handle the processing and payment of claims in the Dow Corning bankruptcy case is now operational. This office will be called the Settlement Facility-Dow Corning Trust (SF-DCT). While the appeals are pending, the SF-DCT has been authorized to begin mailing claim forms and information. Judge Hood has ordered that the claim forms must be prepared by January 8, 2002 and ready for mailing at a time to be decided by the District Court.

If you are a present client of the Law Office of Stephen M. Frailich and your address and phone number has recently changed, please call our office to provide us with updated information.

Dow Corning Bankruptcy

Since declaring bankruptcy and excluding itself from the original Global Settlement in 1994, Dow Corning has been under the protected shield of bankruptcy. Lengthy negotiations between Dow Corning and the Tort Claimants Committee resulted in the Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization ("the Joint Plan"). The Joint Plan includes the "settlement" that the attorneys for breast implant claimants negotiated with Dow Corning in the context of the bankruptcy proceedings.

The Joint Plan was approved by the majority of claimants (94%), and has been approved by the bankruptcy court. Approximately 22 appeals were filed after the Joint Plan was approved by the bankruptcy court in November of 1999. On November 13, 2000, the district court ruled on the appeals, and affirmed once again the Joint Plan. The losing party to the appeal has now filed another appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court, and it is that appeal that is still pending. Until this appeal is ruled upon, the Joint Plan will not start. It is expected that the Joint Plan will be implemented sometime later this year, or early 2002.

If you are UNSURE whether or not you have already registered your bankruptcy claim with DATICON SYSTEMS, you may still be able to file a late claim, which is called a Rule 3005 Notice of Intent to File, but you need to call 713-225-7200 IMMEDIATELY to confirm your registration.

The amount which has been set aside to fund the Joint Plan totals approximately $3.2 billion. Benefits to Dow Corning product recipients will range from approximately $2,000 for an expedited release payment to $250,000 for the highest level of disease compensation. If there is enough money in the fund, a 20% Premium Payment may be added to the settlement amounts. The exact amount of claimants who will make a claim against this fund is currently unknown, but estimates are that more than 600,000 claims have already been filed.

There will be different benefits available to claimants under the Fixed Amount and Long Term Benefit Schedules, including:

1. A $5,000 payment for the removal of DOW implants after 12/31/91;

2. A rupture payment for DOW implants which is approximately $20,000
($25,000 if the 20% premium payment is made);

3. Fixed Amount Benefit Schedule Grid which will provide benefits on a graded scale, ranging between $10,000 and $50,000 ($12,000 and $60,000 if the 20% premium payment is made);

4. Long Term Benefit Schedule Grid which will provide benefits on a graded scale, ranging between $75,000 and $250,000 ($90,000 and $300,000 if
the 20% premium payment is made);

5. $2,000 expedited payment

While the Joint Plan received overwhelming claimant support (94%), and has been approved by the bankruptcy court and affirmed by the District Court, due to appeals filed by certain objectors, the Joint Plan may not begin until the last appeal is resolved.

If you would like to know what legal rights you are entitled to, at no cost, please fill out our
online contact form.

FACT

In 1997, The Mayo Clinic found one in four women with implants will need surgery within five years for ruptures or other disfiguring complications. 

FACT

What effect does silicone have on the enzyme system, cell membranes, DNA damage, interference with repair mechanisms and the effect on energy production?

CONTACT INFO

Law Offices of 
Stephen M. Frailich

22287 Mulholland Highway, PMB No. 409
Calabasas, Ca. 91302
(818) 223-9064
(818) 223-9062 (Fax) 
Visit breast implant law ; breast implant blog &
www.frailichlaw.com

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1-800-573-3236
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