Eight Insurance Companies Reach Settlement With Dow Corning
BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) _ Several more insurance companies have reached settlements with Dow Corning Corp. to help pay the manufacturer’s bills for breast implant litigation.
If the deals are approved by Bankruptcy Judge Arthur J. Spector, the settlements could add $300 million to a trust fund that will pay thousands of women who say the silicone implants damaged their health.
Spector said Thursday that he will schedule a hearing on the new settlements if any groups representing plaintiffs and creditors object to the deals.
Spector must review the settlements because Dow Corning is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. It filed for bankruptcy protection in May, blaming the cost of implant lawsuits.
The Midland-based company, once the largest maker of implants, produced them for 30 years, beginning in 1962.
Dow Corning has sued about 100 insurance companies to force them to pay on policies it says cover litigation costs. Barring settlement with all the insurers, trial is for Oct. 30 in Detroit.
Earlier this week, a federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., agreed to let women who say their implants made them sick decide if they want to participate in the latest settlement offer from three other breast implant makers, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Baxter International Inc. and 3M Co.
Those eligible for that settlement include roughly half of the 440,000 women who registered to participate in the original version of the settlement, which was worth some $4.25 billion.
Most of the others have implants made by Dow Corning. Their claims will go through bankruptcy court in Michigan.
Women blame the implants for a variety of problems, including lupus, scleroderma and general connective tissue disease.
Makers of the implants say no adverse effects from the implants have ever been proven.
Those proposing to settle with Dow Corning include Zurich Insurance Co., Zurich International Ltd., TIG Insurance Co., London Market Insurance Co., Federal Insurance Co., Arab Insurance Co., National Casualty Co., North River Insurance Co., United States Insurance Co. and International Pines Insurance.
Dow previously settled suits against three of its biggest insurers, Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co., Cigna Corp. and Aetna Casualty and Surety Co.