DOW CORNING: Women, Creditors to Vote on Settlement
The decade-long dispute between Dow Corning Corp. and the 170,000 women who claim their silicone breast implants led to disease may draw to a close, as those involved in the dispute will receive a ballot allowing them to vote on a proposed $3.2 billion settlement. The company announced Monday that under the proposed settlement, tens of thousands of women could receive checks for between $12,000 and $300,000 each, with an additional $5,000 payment for implant removal (AP/Los Angeles Times, 3/16). Two-thirds of the voters -- 170,000 women and 400,000 creditors -- must approve the settlement by May 14 for it to progress (Herzog, Detroit Free Press, 3/16). The Detroit News reports that a favorable vote could "end Dow Corning's four-year stay in bankruptcy court" and mark the cornerstone of the company's long-awaited reorganization plan after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1995 following an avalanche of implant-related lawsuits. The settlement came after "acrimonious negotiations," said Ralph Knowles, a member of the claimants committee, "There had to be some compromise (but) we hope and expect that this plan will be approved by the majority of claimants," he said (Preddy, Detroit News, 3/16). Dow Corning has a hot line to answer questions about the settlement plan. People with claims can call 888-577-7526 for information, or visit the claims committee Web site at www.tortcomm.org or Dow Corning's Web site at www.implantclaims.com (Dow Corning release, 3/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.