CLAIMANTS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE E-NEWSLETTER
Volume 6, No. 2, February 20, 2009
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1. COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT CLAIMS ISSUES
We have received a large number of emails and calls about the final cure deadlines for diseases. Listed below are some
helpful common Questions and Answers that we prepared about cure deadlines since we continue to receive a number of calls
and emails about this issue.
Question What is a "cure deadline?" Answer: A "cure deadline" is the date by which you must fix any deficiency
or problem in your claim. If you do not fix the problems identified by the Settlement Facility, then your claim for that disease
will be denied and thereafter, you can only apply for a new compensable condition that manifests after the conclusion of your
Question Is a "cure deadline" the same thing as the deadline for filing a disease claim?
Answer: No. The cure deadline is specific to each claimant's claim. New disease claims can be submitted to the
Settlement Facility on or before June 3, 2019.
Question What options do you have if your disease claim is deficient and your cure deadline has passed?
Answer: If your cure deadline has passed, then your options are as follows:
1) accept an Expedited Release Payment of $2,000 (this is the amount for Class 5 claimants). If you accept this payment,
you cannot apply for a Disease claim in the future. or
2) Request an Appeal to the Claims Administrator. You cannot file an appeal with the court. All appeals must go to the
Claims Administrator. or
3) Accept payment for any disease claim you were approved for, even though it may be at a lower level than what you sought.
Claimants can seek an Increased Severity Payment in the future if the condition worsens such that the claimant now qualifies
for a Level A payment. or
4) Apply for a new compensable condition that manifests in the future.
Question I received two letters from the SF-DCT with different cure deadlines. What should I do?
Answer: If you have any question about what cure deadline applies to your claim, contact the Settlement
Facility at 1-866-874-6099 or email them at email@example.com.
Question I applied for lupus and the SF-DCT reviewed my claim for both lupus and ACTD. I have a final cure
deadline for my lupus claim of May 2, 2009, and a final cure deadline for my ACTD claim of July 9, 2009. What should I do?
Answer: You must submit documents to cure any deficiencies in your lupus claim by May 4, 2009, and you must submit
documents to cure deficiencies in your ACTD claim by July 9, 2009.
2. URGENT REMINDERS FOR FINAL CURE DEADLINES FOR ANDS, SLE AND ACTD
This reminder applies only to certain claimants who previously filed a claim for either Atypical Neurological Disease Syndrome
(ANDS), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and/or Atypical Connective Tissue Disease (ACTD) and received a deficiency notice
about that claim from the Settlement Facility –– Dow Corning Trust (SF-DCT). These cure deadlines do not
apply to you if the SF-DCT notified you that you have a longer or different cure deadline date. If you have any question about
what your cure deadline is, contact the SF-DCT at 1-866-874-6099 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final cure deadline for certain ANDS claimants is MARCH 2, 2009.
The final cure deadline for certain Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) claims is MAY 4, 2009.
The final cure deadline for certain ACTD claims is JULY 9, 2009.
No further extensions will be allowed.
Reminder: the deadline to file a new disease claim for any eligible disease or condition in the Plan is June 3,
3. STATUS OF DISEASE CLAIMS PROCESSING
Disease Option 1: The Claims Administrator reports that there is approximately a 3-4 month backlog to review new Disease
Option 1 claims. The backlog for re-reviews (RAI's - reviewing additional information sent in by claimants to cure a deficiency)
is approximately 5+ months.
Disease Option 2: The Claims Administrator reports that there remains a significant backlog in reviewing new Disease Option
2 claims, particularly claims for GCTS and Lupus (SLE). There is also a significant backlog of approximately 7+ months to
conduct re-reviews in Disease Option 2 claims.
4. SF-DCT ANNOUNCES A CHANGE REGARDING CLAIMS PLACED ON "ADMINISTRATIVE HOLD"
The SF-DCT used to classify claims as being on "administrative hold" when its Quality Management Department asked a claimant
to obtain additional information to address "questionable claim issues." During the time that a claim was placed on "administrative
hold," the disease claim was not reviewed, and there was no deadline for a claimant to respond to the SF-DCT's questions.
The policy was that claims could be classified as being on "administrative hold" indefinitely.
The SF-DCT has announced a new policy as of February 2009. The new policy is that if the claim has been on "administrative
hold" for one year without a response by the claimant, then the SF-DCT will continue its review of the disease claim. This
means that the claimant will receive a Notification of Status letter detailing the problems with the claim, including the
problems identified in the initial "administrative hold" letter, and the one year cure deadline to address the questions and
problems will begin to run from the date of the new Notification of Status letter.
Currently, there are over 2,000 disease claims on administrative hold. The SF-DCT has sent a letter to all claimants and
their attorneys, if represented, who are affected by this change in policy.
If you have any questions about your disease claim status, contact the SF-DCT at its toll free number: 1-866-874-6099 or
by email at: email@example.com. Please do not ignore the SF-DCT letters or wait until the last minute to
try and cure the deficiencies in your claim. You can arrange for a call with a nurse reviewer at the SF-DCT to walk you through
your claim and (s)he will explain in detail what the SF-DCT needs from you to approve your claim. You can also review the
processing guidelines for your particular disease on the CAC website (www.tortcomm.org) under the heading "Disease
Claims" or on the SF-DCT website (www.sfdct.com).
5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF INDEPENDENT ASSESSOR REPORT
The Independent Assessor, who is responsible for projecting the likely amount of funds required to satisfy the claims and
other payments of the Trust, has issued an Executive Summary for the third quarter of 2008. The conclusion remains the same
as in prior reports: "The Independent Assessor …… estimated that the facility would remain solvent under each
of a range of liability and asset assumptions tested. Until patterns of filing and claims acceptance become more certain,
use of the current estimates for the purpose of determining whether premium payments can be made is premature."
The Claimants' Advisory Committee does not have anything new to report on the status of getting approval for Premium Payments.
As noted in prior newsletters, the Dow Corning Settlement Plan requires the Finance Committee (not the Claimants' Advisory
Committee) to recommend to the District Court that Premium Payments can and should be made. The Finance Committee is currently
reviewing this issue but has not made any decision at this time. We will report on any changes or updates regarding Premium
Payments in future newsletters.
6. SETTLEMENT FACILITY PAYMENTS TO CLAIMANTS - $1.073 BILLION
As of January 31, 2009, the Settlement Facility –– Dow Corning Trust reports that it has issued checks to claimants
in the Dow Corning Settlement Fund totalling approximatly $1.073 billion dollars.
Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2 –– Dow Corning Breast Implant Claimants
Checks totaling approximately $429.5 million dollars have been issued to 22,099 approved rupture claimants.
Approximately 23,137 approved disease claimants have been issued checks totaling approximately $429.5 million.
The approval rate for Proof of Manufacturer (POM) for claimants who passed the pre-screening process (i.e., eligibility
to participate in the settlement) remains at 90% for Dow Corning breast implant claims in Class 5, 78% for Class 6.1, and
41% for Class 6.2.
Class 7 –– Silicone Gel Material Claims
Disease Cash-Out Offers: A total of 7,233 claimants in Class 7 have been sent the $3,000 Disease Cash-Out offer.
Of this number, 78% have cashed the check and accepted the payment, 15% have returned the check and asked for a full disease
review, and 7% are pending (they have not cashed the check or returned it to the SF-DCT). Most of the claimants who rejected
the offer have applied for a Disease Option 1 claim (831) and, of this number, 625 reviews have been completed. No claims
in Disease Option 2 for Class 7 have been reviewed. The Settlement Facility has begun issuing Notification of Status letters;
however, no Class 7 disease claims can be paid until all disease claims have been reviewed and the one-year time deadline
to cure deficiencies has expired. This will take at least another year or more to complete.
The total payout of cashed checks from the capped $57.5 million NPV fund through December 31, 2008 is $20,197,558.34.
Notice of Intent (NOI) Claims Processing
The Settlement Facility has paid a total of $23,698,200 in Explant and Rupture payments to Notice of Intent (NOI) claimants,
including the second installment on approved Rupture claims. The SF-DCT is continuing to process and pay these claims.
7. CONTINUING PROBLEM WITH UNCASHED CHECKS
Over 1,000 checks totaling $3.997 million for approved Rupture, Disease and Explant claims remain uncashed and are considered
"stale." The primary reason why the checks are stale is because claimants move and cannot be located to receive their award
from the Settlement Facility.
It is extremely important that you notify the Settlement Facility of any new address or change in contact information.
Simply write a letter to the Settlement Facility and notify them if you move, change your email or phone number, or if there
is a change in the personal guardianship, estate or representation for the claimant. This will be especially important in
the future if Premium Payments are authorized and issued. The Settlement Facility must have a current address to mail your
award letters and payments.
8. DEADLINE REMINDERS
Please mark your calendar with the following claim submission deadlines. Note that different deadlines apply to Notice
of Intent (NOI) Claimants and Late Claimants. Please note that most of these deadlines mean that your claim forms and materials
must be received by the SF-DCT by the posted deadline. Please mail all forms early enough so that they are received by the
deadline listed below. If your claim form is not received by the deadline listed below, you will not be permitted to
file a claim later.
Deadline Date - Type of Deadline
March 2, 2009
Cure Deadline for certain claimants who previously filed a claim for Atypical Neurological Disease Syndrome
(ANDS) (consult the SF-DCT about your specific cure deadline)
May 4, 2009
Cure Deadline for certain claimants who previously filed a claim for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) (consult
the SF-DCT about your specific cure deadline)
July 9, 2009
Cure Deadline for certain claimants who previously filed a claim for Atypical Connective Tissue Disease (ACTD)
(consult the SF-DCT about your specific cure deadline)
June 2, 2014
Explant Claims submission deadline for timely filed claimants in Classes 5, 6.1 and 6.2 (NOTE: this deadline
does NOT apply to NOI claimants or Late Claimants)
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)
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 web site (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: firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to the Post
Office Box address for the CAC at:
Claimants' Advisory Committee - P.O. Box 665 - St. Marys, Ohio 45885