Breast Implants: Recovery & Discovery
August 4, 2006 (revised August 27, 2006)
After reading in the Dow Corning Claimants' Advisory Committee (CAC) E-Newsletter dated July 7, 2006, a few of us have combed through the pleadings that were submitted to Judge Hood regarding the current dispute over the criteria to qualify for certain disabilities in the Dow Corning Settlement Agreement. Here is the section in the newsletter that refers to the situation and gives a link to see what they have submitted:
From the CAC NEWSLETTER on the issue of Disability -- July 7, 2006, Item # 5
5. STATUS OF DISABILITY A MOTIONS
On June 9, 2006, the Claims Administrator issued a Memorandum to the parties, at their request, detailing the history of the Disability A claims processing by the MDL and SF-DCT. The Memorandum confirmed that 99% of all Current Disease claims in the Revised Settlement Program had their Disability A claims processed under the standard of "vocation or self-care." The CAC filed the Memorandum with the Court in advance of oral argument on June 20, 2006, and Dow Corning filed a Response and Objection asking the Court to disregard the Memorandum from the Claims Administrator. Despite all evidence to the contrary including the plain language used in the definition itself, Dow Corning asserts that the standard for Disability A should be "vocation and self-care."
Following oral argument, the Court took the matter under advisement. The CAC filed a Reply brief on June 29, 2006 responding to Dow Corning' Objection that the Claims Administrator's report should not be considered.
A copy of the Reply brief (which has a good summary of the issue) is available on the CAC website (www.tortcomm.org) under "Pending Motions."
[As of August 18, 2006, the brief is not there] *
Our CAC has made a valiant effort to plead with Judge Hood to correct the fact that the Claims Administration of the Dow Corning Settlement Facility is not only taking a most harsh misinterpretation of the Settlement Agreement, but they are processing claims to an extremely unfair degree beyond that. (If you could see this brief, you can see this by looking at the examples of extremely harsh treatment of claimants in exhibit numbers 24 and 25, which are attached to CAC's final submission dated June 29, 2006).
There are so many legal details that were necessary for CAC to argue about, and yet we, as claimants have some additional concerns regarding how such a change (that Dow Corning wants) would impact us so unfairly when it comes to compensation and our claims being denied.
Some of us have agreed on writing a letter to Judge Hood expressing our concerns in relation to all the details of what has been going on and have sent the letter to Judge Hood. Since the last submissions by attorneys to Judge Hood on June 29, 2006, it is before her to make a decision and order. She could rule at any moment, so we are hoping as many claimants, including their families, will quickly print, sign, and fax (or mail, although it could take too long), just the signature page to Judge Hood. You are invited to write your own letter containing your own thoughts and concerns. We hope this letter makes it much easier for you, either way.
PLEASE, PLEASE stop in your tracks and immediately SEND A MESSAGE TO JUDGE HOOD, now.
The information regarding what to send regarding this letter, and where to send your message is at the end of the SIGNATURE pages. Even though the door is closed for legal arguments before Judge Hood on this issue, the Dow Litigation Unit will log in your message and send it to Judge Hood, which is what they did with the original letter and it's attachments faxed to that Unit at the court on August 2nd.
If you are claimant (such as Class 5, as an example) who hoped to receive compensation for Option 1, Level A in the Dow Corning Settlement Agreement, unless we can get Judge Hood to deny any change to the agreement, your expectation of receiving $50,000 would likely change to just $20,000 for the loss of whatever makes a life a life. That's a difference of $30,000, which makes it worthwhile for you (and your family) to do this one thing, even when you don't feel well.
If we do not get this nipped in the bud, it could become an issue that is held up in appeals, as one attorney remarked to us. By the way, another attorney has read this letter, as a letter from claimants, and commented that the points in the letter are good ones.
If you are a claimant who is hoping to receive compensation for Option 2 disease categories or Tissue Expanders, PLEASE BE SURE TO SEE PAGE 5.
If you want to write your own letter of support for the petition, PLEASE BE SURE TO USE THE LETTER ON PAGE 2 FOR “TALKING POINTS” AND DO NOT GO OFF THAT TOPIC OR YOU WILL TAKE AWAY FROM OUR UNIFIED MESSAGE, which we only HOPE the Judge will consider. Please express yourself today, or simply sign on and fax or mail it today.
There are a total of 5 web pages regarding this Letter and Petition. They are:
* For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org who can also send you a copy of the CAC’s Reply Brief. It is in Adobe Reader format (.pdf file type), if you are able to receive file attachments in Adobe Reader.
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