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09/25-01--Important new information for those wishing to contact the Settlement Facility -- Dow Corning Trust:
|How to Contact the Dow Settlement Facility|
|Mailing address:||Settlement Facility - Dow Corning Trust|
|P.O. Box 52429|
|Houston, Texas 77052|
|Recorded message:||1-866-874-6099 (U. S. and Canada only) 713-874-6099 (Calls from outside U. S. and Canada)|
|For Additional Information|
|U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan:||www.mied.uscourts.gov/dow/default.htm|
|Tort Claims Committee:||www.tortcomm.org|
09/06/01--The Settlement Facility - Dow Corning Trust (the "SF-DCT") has been created to administer silicone gel and implant claims against Dow Corning. You may contact the SF-DCT toll-free at 1-866-874-6099 or (713) 874-6099. You may also visit the SF-DCT website at www.dcsettlement.com. The SF-DCT and the RSP Claims Office are two separate entities, and the Claims Office will not be able to answer any questions regarding your claim against Dow Corning, the SF-DCT, the Dow Corning bankruptcy case or the settlement plan for Dow Corning claimants. Please call the SF-DCT, instead.
12/15/00--By Order entered October 20, 2000, this Court granted a dividend payment of $470 to each Other Foreign Registrant in accordance with the terms of the Foreign Settlement Program. These payments were issued and mailed on December 12 and 13, 2000. These payments were made payable to the claimant (and any lienholder) only and are not be subject to attorneys’ fees or expenses. However, for the convenience of the Claims Office and the Escrow Agent Payment Office, the payments were mailed to the attorneys’ address, for claimants with counsel.
09/26/00--As of September 29, 2000, the National MDL 926 Document Depository will be relocated from the United States District Courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio to South Hall of Irondale, 2300 Crestwood Boulevard, Irondale, Alabama 35210. The Depository telephone number will change from (513) 684-6688 to (205) 957-5501. Irondale is a suburb located on the southeastern side of Birmingham, Alabama. The Depository will be open and available for use by the parties in Birmingham on October 2, 2000.
09/06/00--As of September 1, 2000, Judge Andrews reports that he has thirteen (13) pending appeals which include "loose motions." All appeals received before July 1, 2000, have been resolved except some where there have been requests for reconsideration. Except in cases where there are "exigent" circumstances, appeals are processed by Judge Andrews on a "first in/first out" basis. Under provisions established by Orders 27L and 27N, decisions by Judge Andrews on appeals from the Claims Administrator represent final decisions of the court. In other words, the court does not accept appeals from decisions rendered by Judge Andrews.
08/30/00--Effective immediately, the address of the escrow agent, Mr. Gentle, will be:
Edgar C. Gentle, III, Esq.
Gentle, Pickens & Eliason
Attorneys and Counselors at Law
Two North Twentieth Building, Suite 1200
2 North 20th Street
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
07/17/00--As of this date, Judge Andrews reports that he has ten (10) pending appeals which include "loose motions." All appeals received before May 15, 2000, have been resolved except some where there have been requests for reconsideration. Except in cases where there are "exigent" circumstances, appeals are processed by Judge Andrews on a "first in/first out" basis. Under provisions established by Orders 27L and 27N, decisions by Judge Andrews on appeals from the Claims Administrator represent final decisions of the court. In other words, the court does not accept appeals from decisions rendered by Judge Andrews.
06/23/00--Court enters Order 61 directing counsel and parties to update court's records to reflect correct party and counsel information for all remaining MDL 926 cases and to submit specific plans for disposition of all such remaining cases within a reasonable period. To view, print, or download a copy of Order 61, go to ORDERS. As of this date, the court has 50 MDL 926 cases remaining on its docket. Nineteen are cases that were originally filed in this court and 31 that were transferred from other courts.
06/23/00--Availability of specific case information on the Internet. Complete information about particular cases may be obtained by going to the court's PacerNet site at http://pacer.alnd.uscourts.gov/. Those parties and counsel who are not registered PacerNet users may register and obtain log-in credentials by going to http://www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov. PacerNet is a fee based service of the federal courts that is provided at a nominal cost to users (7˘ per page). Many individual cases, however, will contain only basic information and it may be necessary to consult the master file, 2:1992cv10000, or the Lindsey class action file, 2:1994cv11558. These files are each quite large and you may wish to consider the costs before viewing them. For example, as of this date, the master file contains 383 pages and would cost $26.81 to display and print. The Lindsey file consists of 292 pages and would cost $20.44.
05/30/00--Court enters Order 60A, remanding 13 cases to transferor courts subject to conditions stated in the order. To view, print, or download a copy of Order 60A, go to ORDERS. Remaining open in ALN at the present time are 54 cases (of the approximately 27,500 cases) that were filed in or removed to this court. A few new cases continue to trickle into ALN. For example, 18 new cases have been transferred to this court since January 1, 2000.
05/25/00--It has come to the Court's attention that there is some confusion regarding whether Order 13A, which provided for the recent rebate payments, permits an attorney to collect fees and/or expenses from rebate checks of less than $1000 where those checks were made payable to claimants only. The Court has also been informed that, based on this confusion, there may be some efforts by attorneys to "bill" their clients for fees and/or expenses directly. It was, and is, the Court's intent that RSP/ISP payments of less than $1000 would not be subject to the payment of any attorneys' fees or expenses.
05/24/00--The court has been informed by Mr. Gentle, the Escrow Agent, that all rebate checks (approximately 110,000) were placed in the mail on Monday, May 22, 2000. It is expected that most of them should be delivered by the United States Postal Service before the end of this week. Those persons who are expecting rebate checks but who have not received them by June 1, 2000, are requested to contact Mr. Gentle IN WRITING and provide him with your name, correct current mailing address, date of birth, and social security number. Mr. Gentle's mailing address is:
Edgar C. Gentle, III, Esq.
Gentle, Pickens & Eliason
Attorneys and Counselors at Law
Suite 1500-Colonial Bank Building
1928 First Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
[Please note the change above in Mr. Gentle's address.]
05/22/00--It has come to the court's attention that some counsel and litigants may not be familiar with the way your new judge handles settlement announcements. When the court is informed by counsel that a settlement has been reached, it will ordinarily enter an order of dismissal without prejudice immediately. You may view a sample of such an order by clicking on this link. The court does not, by entering the order, intend that any party will be advantaged or disadvantaged in any way whatsoever. The sole purpose of the order is to relieve the court of further monitoring responsibility and to shift it to counsel. The court ordinarily retains jurisdiction for sixty (60) days to allow for the completion of required paper work or for the submission of a stipulated form for dismissal with prejudice. Occasionally, there will arise some hitch that may require additional time to complete a settlement. In such circumstances, extensions are freely given. Additional information, if required, may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
05/15/00--In the future, for all orders and other documents to be posted on the WEB page, the court intends to use the PDF file format. This will require users to have installed the Adobe Acrobat reader as a plug-in for their browsers. The Adobe Acrobat reader is available as a free download from www.adobe.com. The court does not intend to convert previously posted documents to PDF. Such previously posted documents and this home page will continue to be available in the standard HTML format.
5/15/00-- The court conducted a hearing today on the motion of the United States to preliminarily enjoin the Escrow Agent from making further payments from the RSP Settlement Fund and the Common Benefit Fund, pending further orders of the court. Of immediate concern, is the scheduled mailing on Monday, May 22, 2000, of approximately 110,000 rebate checks pursuant to Order 13A and related orders entered by Judge Pointer. After affording all parties, including the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee on behalf of otherwise unrepresented claimants, an opportunity to be heard, the court has entered an order denying the government's motion as it is addressed to the rebate payments. As addressed to all other matters, the court has taken the motion under advisement and expects to enter an order on those matters later this week. You may view a copy of the order by clicking Preliminary Injunction Order.
5/12/00--In United States v. Baxter, et al., CV-00-N-0837-S, the United States filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on Friday, May 12, 2000. The government seeks to enjoin the Escrow Agent from making certain payments from the RSP Settlement Fund and the Common Benefit Fund pending further orders of the court. The court has set a hearing on the government's motion in Courtroom 7B, Hugo L. Black United States Courthouse, Birmingham, Alabama at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 15, 2000. In order to see that the interests of the plaintiffs are represented, the court has conditionally allowed the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee to intervene in the action. In the absence of unforeseen developments, the court expects to rule on the motion before the close of business on Monday, May 15, 2000, and to post the results of the hearing by Tuesday morning.
5/12/00--The court has received via the MDL926 email address (email@example.com) some inquiries regarding claims against Dow Corning and related entities. Information concerning those claims may be obtained by going to the Dow Corning Settlement WEB page, www.dcsettlement.com. This court has no direct information concerning that settlement.
4/11/00--On March 31, 2000, the United States filed an independent civil action against Baxter, Bristol-Meyers, 3M, Union Carbide, and Edgar Gentle, as Escrow Agent for several of the funds established pursuant to orders issued by Judge Pointer. United States v. Baxter, et al., CV-00-N-0837-S. Generally, the United States seeks reimbursement for medical costs incurred by various federal agencies in providing or paying for medical care of unspecified breast implant claimants. That case has been assigned to Judge Nelson. The court intends to conduct an early status conference with the parties in that action and to include interested persons associated with MDL926. The court will post additional information as it becomes available.
4/10/00--The Office of Claims Assistance Counsel, created by Order No. 17, will be closing on April 14, 2000. The Court expresses its appreciation to the attorneys of that office who have provided independent legal advice to more than 100,000 breast implant claimants for the past seven years. After April 14, 2000, interested persons may still obtain information on the following topics by calling these numbers:
4/10/00--Message from Judge Nelson.
As anticipated, I have been designated successor transferee judge for MDL926, effective immediately. Judge Pointer has left us a well oiled and effective organization and I intend to carry on in the manner established by him, changing no more than may be necessary or appropriate to meet circumstances as they may change or require. As I am sure all of you do, the court expresses its gratitude to Judge Pointer for leaving a relatively "clean deck." Nevertheless, getting myself "up to speed" on some eight years of litigation that has involved many litigants and complex issues is a daunting task. I expect that it may be several weeks (or months) before I reach a comfort level that will eventually permit me to handle matters on a routine and expeditious basis. I ask that you exercise some patience while I learn to crawl, walk, and, eventually, run with these matters.
It is my intent to continue to provide information to interested persons through the WEB page. To that end, judges, lawyers, litigants, and other interested persons are invited to communicate appropriate changes, corrections, additions, and deletions by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not use this address for routine inquiries, address changes, to file documents with the clerk, etc. Also, we ask that litigants not communicate directly with Judge Nelson, by email or otherwise.
4/1/00--Court enters Order 60, suggesting to Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation the remand of 13 cases on the terms specified in the order. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS. This will be the last order entered in MDL926 by Judge Pointer.
4/1/00--It is anticipated that upon the retirement of Judge Pointer on April 3, 2000, District Judge Edwin L. Nelson of the Northern District of Alabama will be designated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation as the Transferee Judge of MDL926.
3/28/00 (revised)--To answer some inquiries about Orders 13 and 13A:
3/15/00--After conferring with the parties, the court has concluded that the Claims Assistance office in Cincinnati should be closed at the end of April. Calls to that office after April 13th will be forwarded to the office of Plaintiffs Liaison Counsel in Birmingham.
3/13/00--Court enters Order 59B, remanding 66 cases to transferor courts subject to conditions stated in order. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS. Remaining open in ALN are 70+ cases (of the approximately 27,500 cases) that were filed in or removed to this court.
3/1/00--Judge Andrews advises that, as of this date, all appeals received by him prior to 1/15/00 have been finalized (except for those requesting reconsideration) and that there are 34 pending appeals (including those requesting reconsideration).
2/25/00--I have decided to retire from the bench after the end of March, and at that time another judge from this court will assume the role of "transferee judge" in MDL926. During the next few weeks I will be working on the outstanding motions in this litigation and hope to leave my successor with a relatively clean deck.
My work in this litigation certainly has been among the most challenging of the responsibilities I have had during my nearly 30 years on the bench. More than 27,000 breast-implant lawsuits were transferred to this court during the past 7+ years, and I expect that, when my retirement becomes effective, there will be fewer than 70 cases still pending in this court. Even so, there will still be much to be done, particularly in the continued oversight of the administration of the Revised Settlement Program over the next 10 years and in seeing that the Dow Corning Claims facility is "ready to go" for expeditious processing of claims if the Dow Corning reorganization/settlement plan is ultimately approved by the Eastern District of Michigan. Also, probably during April 00, the Escrow Agent will be involved in distributing the "rebate" checks for overpayment of the common benefit assessment fees previously paid at the 6% rate. (See Order 13A.)
I have appreciated the high degree of dedication and professionalism shown by so many of the thousands of attorneys who have been involved in this litigation. There is no way to list all those whose friendship and support have helped to make this task not merely bearable, but enjoyable--but I do want to express a special note of gratitude to Judge Ann Cochran, to Judge Frank Andrews, to Ed Gentle, to Professor Francis McGovern, to the folks at the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the Federal Judicial Center, and certainly to my law clerks who, over the years, have spent so many hours outside their regular duties in responding to telephone inquiries from those involved in the breast implant litigation.
2/7/00--Court enters Order 59, suggesting to Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation the remand of 70 cases on the terms specified in the order. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS.
1/28/00--Court enters Order 55B, remanding 61 cases to transferor courts subject to conditions stated in order. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS.
1/7/00--ALN has posted on this website an Adobe "pdf" file copy of Judge Spector's 12/21/99 opinion on whether the Dow Corning Reorganization Plan and its Proponents comply with the Bankruptcy Code. For instructions and cavaeats regarding downloading this opinion, jump to Michigan.
12/28/99--Court enters Order 13A, determining that the "common benefit fund" has been/will be overfunded by the 6% assessment rate. Assessments on "opt-out" settlements after December 31, 1999, will be at the rate of 4%, and a plan will be implemented to refund to implant recipients and/or their attorneys the excess of assessments collected at the 6% rate. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS.
12/23/99--Court enters Order 57, calling for a status report by 1/31/00 on some 200+ cases in which the parties had earlier indicated that settlements were pending, and Order 58, calling for a status report by 1/31/00 on some 90+ other cases still pending in ALN. To download copy of orders, jump to ORDERS.
12/16/99--Court enters (1) Order 52D, closing 418 listed cases on terms specified for "Category A" cases under Order 52C; (2) Order 55, suggesting to JPMDL the remand of 65 listed cases; and (3) Order 56, providing a form stipulation that parties can enter and avoid need for further MDL transfers to ALN. Court also indicates that it expects to enter an order before the end of 1999 that will reduce the common benefit fund assessment from 6% to 4%, with appropirate provisions for refunding to implant claimants or their attorneys the overpayment of previously paid assessments.
12/10/99--Dow update: the next step under the Dow reorgnization and settlement plan is the entry by Judge Denise Page Hood, USDJ for the Eastern District of Michigan, of a "Case Management Order". Judge Hood will also be the one to consider any appeals from Bankruptcy Judge Spector's 11/30 order confirming that plan. It is impossible at this time to provide a time- line or give predictions as to when the plan might become effective.
Although the Dow settlement plan cannot be fully implemented while appeals are pending, certain steps have been taken so that, if and when the plan is ultimately approved, the claims process for implant-recipients can move forward as promptly as possible. The Dow Claims Office will be at the same location as the Claims Office in Houston utilized for handling claims under the Bristol, Baxter, 3M, Union Carbide, Mentor, Bioplasty and Inamed/McGhan/CUI settlement plans. This will facilitate use of medical records, manufacturing proof, etc. that have already been submitted to the Houston office. Also, Judge Mary Katherine ("Katie") Kennedy has been appointed and has commenced "start-up" work as Administrator-Designee and several of the employees in the RSP Claims Office will soon be reassigned to help her prepare for the activation of the Dow Claims Office (if and when the plan can be implemented).
Additionally, a special webpage has been established for use in handling Dow claims at DCSettlement. Also, a toll-free telephone hot-line has been connected: 1-888-875-5949. At the present time the webpage is simply an informational page and the telephone line contains simply a pre-recorded message. PLEASE DO NOT AT THIS TIME CALL JUDGE KENNEDY OR THE CLAIMS OFFICE WITH QUESTIONS REGARDING THE DOW PLAN OR TO REQUEST PARTICIPATION PACKAGES OR CLAIM FORMS. As more information is available, it will be posted on this or the new webpage and put on the hot-line. Also please note that, while SCP and the USDC ALN will have some oversight responsibilities regarding the Dow Claims Office when it is activated, issues and questions relating to the Dow plan are at this time matters for Judges Spector and Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan.
12/8/99--INAMED settlement checks in the amount of $725 mailed by the Claims Office to the almost 45,000 qualifying claimants (or their attorneys) starting December 8, 1999. This is a one-time payment, paying to these claimants all of the approximately $32,400,000 available for distribution under the INAMED settlement, and no further claims can be honored by the Claims Office. All taxes and administrative expenses are being paid out of a portion of the interest earned on the settlement funds. Letters to claimants who did not qualify for a payment will be mailed tomorrow. Claimants should not make inquiries to the Claims Office unless they do not receive their check (or a letter explaining why they did not qualify for a distribution under the plan) by mid-January 2000. Claimants should understand they gain nothing by failing to negotiate their check; that is, they will still be precluded from pursuing claims against McGhan, Inamed, and CUI even if they don't negotiate their check.
12/2/99--Some minor corrections have been made by Judge Spector in five of the opinions issued by him on 11/30. The amended opinions (the three on cramdown issues, the one on classification, and the one on good faith) can be viewed by jumping to MIE .
11/30/99--Judge Spector (Bankruptcy Judge, MIE) entered a series of orders and opinions confirming the jointly proposed Dow Corning reorganization and settlement plan. As a service, copies of these orders and opinions have been posted on this webpage and, by jumping to MIE can be viewed or downloaded. PLEASE NOTE: these are orders and opinions in the Bankruptcy Court in Michigan--do NOT send inquiries, etc. to this webpage or to USDC ALN or to Judge Pointer.
11/12/99--Order 52C entered, requiring plaintiffs in 460+ cases to file with ALN Clerk's Office a status report by 12/15/99 (or have case closed without prejudice to claims against Dow Corning/Dow Chemical and without prejudice to rights as a participant in RSP, FSP, and Inamed/McGhan/CUI settlements. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS. To see most recent (@ 12/23/99) status of cases by jurisdiction, jump to Cases.
11/09/99--Claims Office advises that it is still on schedule for a distribution of Inamed/McGhan settlement checks by mid-December 1999.
11/2/99--Order 54C entered, remanding 42 cases to federal transferor courts after JPMDL remand order received. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS.
9/30/99--Copies of the official stenographic transcripts of the depositions of
the National Science Panel, taken in April 1999, can now be downloaded without charge from
this website. (These are large files and may take several minutes to
download.) To download the transcript of
Dr. Diamond's deposition, click on RTF (387KB) or WordPerfect (411KB) format.
Dr. Hulka's deposition, click on RTF (1027KB) or WordPerfect (1069KB) format.
Dr. Kerkvliet's deposition, click on RTF (690KB) or WordPerfect (738KB) format.
Dr. Tugwell's deposition, click on RTF (1095KB) or WordPerfect (2039KB) format.
For instructions on downloading the written report submitted by the panelists last year, jump to Report Persons wishing to purchase copies of other exihibits referred to during these depositions should make arrangements with Plaintiffs' National Liaison Office or Defendants' National Liaision Counsel.
The parties are continuing to work with the video company on completion of the videotapes of these depositions. These should be available (with a charge for the reproduction costs) later this year; more information will be posted when these videotapes are available.
9/28/99--Order 53B entered, remanding 468 cases to federal transferor courts after JPMDL remand order received. Also, Order 54A entered, suggesting to JPMDL the remand of 42 additional cases. To download copy of orders, jump to ORDERS.
9/8/99--Two recent decisions by 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will be of interest to those involved in breast-implant litiigation.
7/20/99--On basis of evidentiary hearings, court dismisses Koken Co. Ltd. under Rule 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction in the remaining 4 cases in which it remained as a named defendant. (In 27 other cases that had been set for hearing under Order 25A, the plaintiffs had voluntarily dismissed claims against Koken Co. Ltd.)
7/7/99--Order 47B entered, approving pro-rata distribution plan for INAMED SETTLEMENT FUND. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS. Reminder: completed Claim Forms must be mailed in time to be received by Claims Office no later than October 1, 1999--late submissions will not be accepted, regardless of the reason. If you need a copy of the Claim Form, click on RTF or WordPerfect format.
6/11/99--Special (unnumbered) Order entered, reiterating how 6% special assessments imposed under Order No. 13 are to be treated when dividing proceeds between attorneys and clients in settlement of cases subject to Order No. 13. To download copy of order, jump to ORDERS.
5/25/99--Revised Settlement Program Update: By April 1999 the Claims Office had sent advance payments to almost 40,000 current claimants and roughly 41,000 other registrants who had filed acceptable proof of at least one implant covered by Bristol, Baxter or 3M. Approximately 17,000 of those participants have also received the $3,000 explantation benefit. Approximately 26,000 of those current claimants have chosen the Fixed Amount Benfit Schedule and been paid. Approximately 2800 current claimants have chosen the Long-term Benefit Schedule; over 7,000 of them have not yet chosen a benefit schedule. Over 800 Long-term Benefit Schedule claims have been approved and paid. Over 10,000 "other registrants" have accepted the offer to give up potential claims in the revised settlement program in exchange for a payment now of $2,500. The deadline for accepting that supplemental offer is June 15, 1999.
5/15/99--Claims Office Report:
2/1/99--Order 47A entered, approving INAMED Class Settlement. Next step (assuming no appeals) will be to determine a plan for distribution. To download copy of Order 47A and related documents, jump to ORDERS.
1/19/99--Change of telephone numbers for Judicial Panel on MultiDistrict Litigation: effective this date, the voice telephone number of the JPMDL is 202-502-2800, and the fax number is 202-502-2888.
10/26/98--Order 44B, dismissing or administratively closing 12,000+ cases. For more information, jump to Orders. To see status of particular cases (current as of information received by court @ 11/3/98), jump to Cases.
10/7/98--Order 47, approving form of notice to be sent respecting proposed mandatory class settlement with INAMED, McGhan Medical, and CUI, and setting a fairness hearing for January 11, 1999. For more information, jump to Orders.
New EMail address:--In providing information to court for updates to this webpage, attorneys should use my new email address:
To download significant MDL 926 orders and other materials, see Orders. You can download in either of two formats:
WordPerfect or RTF (rich text format). Although most earlier orders in WordPerfect format
have been saved in 5.1 format, later orders use the WordPerfect 6.0 format.
For names and addresses of federal and state court judges assigned coordinating
responsibility for breast implant litigation in their jurisdictions, as well as
information about Claims Office, Claims Assistance Office, etc., see Judges.
For list of significant matters pending for ruling in MDL 926, see Pending Matters.
To view table showing case numbers in USDC ALN and federal transferor courts of cases
transferred to USDC ALN, see Transferred Cases.
For cases recently tried or scheduled for trial in federal and state courts, see Trials.
Web support for this page is provided as a service of the Federal Judicial Center, but the contents are solely the responsibility of U.S. District Judge Sam C. Pointer, Jr., Federal Courthouse, Birmingham, Alabama (205-278-1800), who is the Transferee Judge of MDL 926 (the Silicone Gel Breast Implant Products Litigation). Although accessible by all Internet users, this page is intended primarily as a means for providing information, including significant MDL 926 opinions and orders, to attorneys and to other federal and state court judges.
E-Mail suggestions by judges and lawyers for information to be added to this page should be sent to email@example.com. Please do NOT use this E-Mail address for general comments or inquiries concerning breast-implant cases and claims, or to file documents with the court. Federal courts can also send information through cc:Mail to Sam Pointer @~11DC-ALN-BIRMINGHAM. Please note. As of April 10, 2000, the above email addresses will no longer be in service. Instead, please use firstname.lastname@example.org.