Q20-1: I am an attorney who represents many claimants. Will the Settlement Facility be able to issue one check to me or my law firm (a “batch check”) on behalf of all or some of my claimants and allow me to them make individual distributions?
No. The Plan language does not permit batch checks.
Q26-2: Can I receive my payment by an automatic payment into my account?
No. We will issue a check.
Q26-3: Can I receive my payment by wire transfer?
Generally, no. Certain non-U.S. claimants may elect this option under limited circumstances that will be explained in their individual award letter.
Q26-4: Where will my award letter be sent?
If you are represented by an attorney, your award letter and payment will be sent directly to your attorney; however, the Settlement Facility will send the claimant a copy of the award letter and Section 11 of the CIG that explains allowable attorney fees and expenses. Claimants who are not represented will receive their award letter and payment.
Q26-5: Where do I go to cash my check?
You may go to the bank of your choice or to any branch of Wells Fargo Bank, National Association. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association is the Paying Agent for SF-DCT. In either case, we suggest that if you do not intend to deposit your check into your account for clearance, but would like to leave the bank with cash, please call the bank or the bank branch before your visit. Be sure to ask their signing and identification requirements for a check made payable to multiple payees (whether all payees must be present or whether endorsement must be done in person), daily cash limitations available at that branch, and all other pertinent policies or requirements.
Q26-6: Do I have to sign a ‘release’ to receive my payment from the Settlement Option?
No. See Plan Documents.
Q26-7: Will I receive one award letter for each type of settlement benefit? "] Yes.
Q26-8: I am represented by counsel. Will the check be mailed to my attorney?
Yes. The check will be payable jointly to you and any other entitled payee (i.e. attorney, lien holder, etc.)
Q26-9: How soon after the award letter will my check be mailed?
The Settlement Facility will mail checks for payment in USD two weeks after the award letters are mailed. For claimants eligible for payment in foreign currency, their payments will be made when the claimants makes the currency election.
Q26-10: I called the Settlement Facility and was informed that my check was mailed two weeks ago. I haven’t received it. What should I do?
If you are represented by counsel, contact your attorney because the check was mailed to him/her and made jointly payable to you and your counsel. If you are not represented, live in the United States, and have not received your check within 3 weeks of the date it was mailed, then please contact Claims Assistance. We will send you a request form to re-issue your check. Claimants who reside outside of the United States should allow for extra time for mailing and delivery before calling Claims Assistance.
Q26-11: I have changed my address and would like my check sent to the new address. How do I do this?
If the check is returned to SF-DCT, we will mail it only after we have received written confirmation of the new address and the information has been entered in our database.
Q26-12: How long do I have to cash my check?
The check will be available for cashing for 180 days. For checks not cashed within this timeframe, please call Claims Assistance.
Q26-13: I received a check for my approved disease claim, but I want to reject this claim and apply for a higher paying disease award. Can I do this?
Yes, if you have not cashed the check please return it to the Settlement Facility (to the attention of the Payment Department) along with a letter requesting a change to your disease election AND supporting documents for the higher paying disease claim.
Q26-14: Will the award letter list only the Base Payment amount?
Q26-15: I received my award letter (or check), but it is only for the Base Payment. When will I receive the rest of my money?
Under SFA 7.01 (c) (iv), Premium Payments shall be deemed “Second Priority Payments.” Premium Payments may not be distributed unless and until the District Court determines that all other Allowed and allowable Claims, including Claims subject to resolution under the terms of the Litigation Facility Agreement, have either been paid or adequate provision has been made to assure such payments.
Q26-16: Can I have my check direct deposited into my account?
No. Because of the release language contained on each check, you must sign the check to receive payment.
Q26-17: I elected the Settlement Option and received payment from the Settlement Facility. Is this compensation taxable for federal income tax purposes?
Payments under the Plan to Personal Injury Claimants with respect to damages on account of personal injuries or sickness will not be includible in such Personal Injury Claimant's gross income under section 104 of the IRC. However, to the extent payments under the Plan to Personal Injury Claimants are attributable to medical expense deductions allowed under section 213 of the IRC for a prior taxable year, such payments will be taxable as ordinary income to the recipient. If you have any questions concerning income tax matters please consult your tax advisor. The Settlement Facility cannot answer any questions concerning your personal tax situation.
Q26-18: I submitted a claim for Explant, Rupture and Expedited Release. I received an award letter and check for the Expedited Release payment and on it was language that I was releasing Dow Corning and others if I cashed the check. I haven't received a letter on the status of my Explant and Rupture claims. If I cash the check, am I waiving or releasing my right to these other payments?
No, you are not. By cashing the Expedited Release payment, you are only releasing your right to apply for a Disease claim in the future. You are still eligible to apply and receive payment for other benefits available in the Settlement Option.
Q26-19: I am represented by an attorney. Will the check be sent to him or are they mailed directly to claimants?
Checks will be mailed to the attorney of record if a claimant is represented. If a claimant does not have an attorney of record, the check will be mailed directly to the claimant.
Q26-20: I want to cash my check (not deposit it). I am represented by counsel. Does my attorney need to be present to cash the check or can he endorse it to me?
We recommend calling the bank or the bank branch before your visit to ask about their signing and identification requirements for a check made payable to multiple payees (whether all payees must be present or whether endorsement must be done in person), daily cash limitations available at that branch, and all other pertinent policies or requirements.
Q26-21: I am an attorney representing many settling Dow Corning breast implant claimants. Do I have to pay any part of my attorney's fees from Settlement Option payments to the Common Benefit Fund in MDL 926?
No, you do not.
Q26-22: I am an attorney who represents a claimant who has had both a Bristol and a Dow Coming silicone gel breast implant My client opted out of the Revised Settlement Program and settled her claim directly with Bristol. She now qualifies for disease compensation in the Settlement Option and will be paid 50% of the eligible award for her Dow Corning breast implant. When I calculate the attorney's fees, can I aggregate the amount of the Bristol settlement with the 50% reduced compensation amount received in the Settlement Option? In other words, if my client received $100,000 from Bristol and now receives $10,000 from the Settlement Option, are attorney's fees determined based on a total recovery of $110,000?
Yes, you can aggregate the amount received in both settlements for purposes of calculating the attorney fees to be applied to the Dow Corning settlement benefit, BUT ONLY IF (1) you or your firm represented the claimant at the time she opted out of the RSP and you or your firm obtained the settlement for the claimant, and (2) the settlement amount paid for the claimant's MDL/RSP opt out settlement was reduced because the claimant also had a Dow Corning Implant.
In the above example, if the two criteria are met the attorney fees on the Dow Coming settlement benefit of $10,000 would be a maximum of 30% of the $10,000 benefit.
Q26-23: My attorney refuses to apply the attorney fees limits set out in Section 9.01 of Annex A, the Claims Resolution Procedures. What can I do?
You should contact your local bar association for assistance and/or send a letter to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to seek further clarification.
Q26-24: Can I calculate my attorney's fees based on the Premium Payment amounts?
No, not at this time. If and when Premium Payments are authorized, then you can deduct allowable attorneys' fees and expense at that time.