2005 Revised Settlement Program (RSP) Update (March 1, 2006)
For those claimants with breast implants that were eligible in the Revised Settlement Program (RSP) and may have already received some settlement benefits under the RSP, following is important information for you:
- If you are a “Current Claimant” and have received the $5000.00 Advance Payment, you may still be eligible for an Explant benefit if (1) you haven’t already received it, and (2) if your implants were explanted after April 1, 1994, and (3) you did not replace with silicone.
You may also be eligible for Fixed or Long Term Disease benefits if you have one of the compensable diseases under the RSP. If LCHB already filed a Long Term Disease Claim for you and you have received payment(s), you may still be able to upgrade if your disease has worsened. You can contact one of our Legal Nurse Consultants to discuss your possible or existing Disease Claim. Keep in mind that the deadline for filing both Explant and Disease benefits or upgrades is December 15, 2010.
Note: Current Claimants were only eligible to receive Rupture benefits until December 16, 1996 and only as part of the Fixed Disease benefit.
- If you are an “Other Registrant” and have received the $1000.00 Advance Payment, you may still be eligible for an Explant benefit if (1) you haven’t already received it, and (2) if your implants were explanted after April 1, 1994, and (3) you did not replace with silicone.
You may also be eligible for Long Term Disease benefits if (1) you have one of the compensable diseases under the RSP, and (2) you did not accept the $2500.00 Supplemental Offer. If LCHB already filed a Long Term Disease Claim for you and you have received payment(s), you may still be able to upgrade your Long Term Disease if your disease has worsened. You can contact one of our Legal Nurse Consultants to discuss your possible or existing Disease Claim. The deadline for both the Explant and the Disease benefits is December 15, 2010.
Note: Other Registrants are not eligible for Fixed Disease benefits. They are only eligible for Long Term Disease benefits if they qualify. Other Registrants are not eligible for any Rupture benefits.
- If you are a “Late Registrant”, you may be eligible for Long Term Disease benefits only if payments to all Current and Other claimants does not exceed the Defendants’ maximum obligations.
Note: Late registrants are not eligible to receive Advance Payments, Explant benefits or Rupture benefits.
Dangers Posed by Silicone Gel Breast Implants
On May 1, 2001, researchers from the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health announced that they had found that when silicone gel spreads outside the border of scar tissue around the breast area, cases of fibromyalgia increased significantly. This is the first study of women whose implants were known to have burst. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome with no clear biological cause that results in generalized pain and tenderness, sleep disturbance and complaints of loss of mental capacity.
In October 2003, an FDA advisory panel voted to allow silicone breast implants back on the market after an 11-year absence. The vote was 9 to 6, and every plastic surgeon on the panel voted to approve the implants.
Thereafter, the Chairman of the advisory panel urged the FDA to override the recommendation because of safety concerns. Thomas V. Whalen, a professor of surgery at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, wrote to the FDA: “It is incumbent upon the FDA to demand that the manufacturer establish in a rigorous, prospective, controlled study that these devices, despite their established breakage and leakage rates, are safe in the long term.”
Also “extraordinarily troubling,” Whalen added, is the enormous costs that women face for additional surgeries and removal of broken or painful implants. “This is a public health issue of no small import that must be addressed should the FDA second this misguided panel decision,” Whalen concluded.
On January 8, 2004, the FDA rejected Inamed Corp.’s bid to bring silicone gel breast implants back to the market, more than a decade after they were first banned amid fears the devices harmed women. The FDA heeded criticism that Inamed had not studied the implants thoroughly enough to settle questions on how often they break apart in women’s bodies and the resulting health effects from leaking silicone.
In 2005, Inamed Corp. again petitioned the FDA to reverse its ban on silicone breast implants, claiming that today’s silicone implants are less likely to break and leak than versions sold years ago. The FDA advisory committee, however, stated that there are still concerns as to their safety and voted against recommending approval of Inamed’s implants.
Lieff Cabraser’s Role in the Litigation
In 1992, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Committee to represent a certified class of up to one million women who had received silicone gel breast implants. Subsequently, we were appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), and currently serve as co-chair of the PSC Law Committee as well.
We are active on all Discovery committees, and have played an integral part in the Dow Corning bankruptcy negotiations. We represent approximately fifteen hundred breast implant clients, who are either members of the class action or who are litigating their cases individually.
The class action complaint asserts claims in strict liability, negligence, and fraud; it alleges design, manufacturing, and marketing defects and seeks compensation for personal injury, emotional distress, economic loss, and medical monitoring on behalf of the class.
Lieff Cabraser was one of five members of the negotiating committee, which achieved a $4.25 billion global settlement with certain defendants. This settlement was renegotiated in 1995 after Dow Corning declared bankruptcy, and is currently referred to as the Revised Settlement Program.
Dow Corning Update
Learn more about the Dow Corning reorganization and bankruptcy with a 2010 update on the case.
More than 95,000 women have received initial payments, explantation reimbursements, and/or long-term benefits.
We also serve on the Official Tort Claimants Committee (TCC), having been appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee in the Dow Corning Corp. Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
Contact Lieff Cabraser
If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact one of the members of the Silicone Gel Breast Implants team.