04 June 2004
04 June 2004
Dow Corning has emerged from Chapter 11 this week following nearly a decade of bankruptcy protection against some 19,000 lawsuits.
""Dow Corning’s emergence from Chapter 11 will allow us to focus squarely on what we do best - providing products, services and business solutions to help our customers succeed,"" said Gary E. Anderson, chairman of Dow Corning. ""We continue to explore high potential applications for silicon materials and services in a wide variety of industries. We are actively developing innovations in photonics, solar solutions, silicon biotechnology and other environment-friendly technologies.""
In April this year, a U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood approved a motion that allows for the payment of undisputed commercial claims, removing one of the remaining obstacles to emergence. As a result, Dow Corning's Joint Plan of Reorganization, which received the support of nearly 95 percent of the claimants who voted for it, becomes ""effective"" from 1st June.
Anderson noted that in anticipation of emergence, the company took steps early on to establish a Settlement Facility to expedite payment to women with breast implants who wish to settle their claims. The Settlement Facility, located in Houston, was established under the Joint Plan of Reorganization, and is under the supervision of the court. It will begin this month to process and pay claims of those who elect to settle.
""We're pleased with this resolution,"" said Anderson. ""Although breast implants never represented more than 1 percent of our business, our company is often identified with them. We are confident that the science shows a clear picture today, through more than 30 independent studies, government and court- appointed panels and numerous court decisions, that breast implants are not associated with disease. Nevertheless, we are pleased to be able to put this issue behind us.""
The company entered into Chapter 11 in 1995 when it was faced with 19,000 lawsuits. In April, a federal judge gave the green light for the company's emergence from bankruptcy after a group of Nevada women dropped their opposition to a settlement plan. With the emergence, people who claim silicone implants have caused them health problems will begin receiving payments from a $2.35 billion fund that Dow Corning has set aside.