- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 21, 2002

DETROIT (AP) A federal judge has authorized a $9.8 million settlement between Dow Corning Corp. and the federal government for medical expenses stemming from breast-implant-related injuries.
U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood approved the settlement Thursday. The federal government sought reimbursement on behalf of the U.S. Departments of Defense, Veteran Affairs, Health and Human Services, and the Indian Health Service, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
"We are pleased to be closer to providing relief to suffering women," said Sybil Niden Goldrich, founder and executive director of the Command Trust Network, a group for women with breast implants. "Simply removing a damaged implant can cost as much as $20,000 and is often paid out of pocket."
The agreement prevents the government from seeking any additional compensation for implant claims from Dow Corning or from claimants who had Dow Corning breast implants except in instances of criminal or fraudulent activity.
However, the government is free to pursue compensation from other manufacturers.
Once the world's largest maker of silicone breast implants, Dow Corning sought bankruptcy protection in 1995 after thousands of implant recipients sued. It has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since 1995.
Dow Corning spokesman Kevin Wiggins said yesterday that the company sees the settlement as a fair resolution to the government's effort to seek reimbursement.
"This puts an end to some of the perception of the delay" with the case, Mr. Wiggins said. "A settlement with the federal government was a win-win situation."
Dow Corning is owned by Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc.

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