THIS PAGE IS RESERVED FOR OUR CLIENTS. IF YOU ARE NOT A CLIENT, YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO REVIEW THIS INFORMATION. THIS INFORMATION IS CONFIDENTIAL CLIENT INFORMATION. THIS INFORMATION MAY NOT BE DISSEMINATED IN ANY WAY.
Clients can contact us at: GDTSettlement@rheingoldlaw.com
Dear Guidant Client:
Welcome to the confidential page for our Guidant clients. This page is intended to update you on current information, as well as be a repository for past updates and important documents. This page contains the most updated information possible regarding client payments. Inquiries to our office are always welcome about unique questions about your claim but asking us to repeat the general information below only slows down our work on the files.
Updated March 22, 2010
Re: Guidant Defibrillators Litigation
We are writing regarding recent events related to Guidant and its conduct surrounding the manufacture and distribution of its pacemakers and ICD's. We have been working with the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota who has now announced a guilty plea that is about to be entered by the company before the same judge that was overseeing the MDL. A notice has been sent out to you advising of the plea date. Our office is actively involved in this and is attempting to intervene on your behalf.
We will continue to keep you informed of this new development.
2nd Distribution Order -
Updated July 7, 2009
Subject: In Re: Guidant Corp. Implantable Defibrillators, MDL 1708
The LCC would like to take this opportunity to update you on the progress of settlement claims resolution and payment process.
As you all should be aware, the Special Masters issued an Order providing an April 1, 2009 deadline by which Claimants must cure all outstanding deficiencies or submit final settlement participation documents. Many claimants requested, and the Special Masters granted an extension of this deadline until May 1, 2009.
Now that the Special Masters deadline has passed the LCC would like to report the following:
1) As of today, 8,063 claimants have been approved as payment eligible;
2) Approximately 390 claimants (out of the 8550 eligible claimants) are not participating. The majority of these claimants are individuals who were represented by Counsel at the beginning of the settlement but whose Counsel have since withdrawn their representation because of the claimant's lack of interest in participating in this settlement or in the litigation;
3) In addition to the 390 non-participating claimants, there remain approximately 115 claimants with deficiencies that have not been cured. These are claimants who want to participate in the current settlement but whose documentation has not met the requirements set forth by the MSA. Approximately 1/3 of these 115 claimants find themselves unable to meet all of the requirements set forth by the MSA and have requested a waiver from Guidant - to accept their documentation as is. The LCC anticipates that many of the outstanding deficiencies will be cured in the near future or Guidant will accept the documentation as is. However, the LCC anticipates that a small number of the 115 outstanding deficient claimants will not be able to cure their deficiencies and that Guidant will not accept their documentation as is. Accordingly, these claimants will not be allowed to participate in this settlement;
4) Of the aforementioned 390 claimants who are not participating, there is a group of approximately 120 claimants who have filed lawsuits pending before the MDL Court. These claimants have not made any effort to participate in the settlement or to pursue their pending litigation. The Court will be initiating a process to "show cause" for each of these claimants as to why their case should not be dismissed with prejudice. Each claimant will be asked to indicate to the Court their intentions toward this litigation:
a) Late participation in the current settlement;
b) Dismissal of their pending litigation or c) pursue their litigation against Guidant.
Section II(A)(1) of the MSA
Under Section II(A)(1) of the MSA, though Plaintiffs reached the 95% participation threshold to ensure Guidant must participate in the settlement, we did not produce the 8400 participating Claimants required under Section II(A)(1) to equal full participation. Because less than 8400 claimants are participating in the settlement, the MSA states that "the (gross) amount of the Settlement Fund will be reduced by an amount equal to the difference between 8400 and the number of Participating Claimants, divided by 8400, and multiplied by $240,000,000."
Based upon the forgoing information provided above, the LCC believes under the terms of the MSA slightly less than 5% of the gross settlement amount will be withheld by the Defendant pursuant to Section II(A)(1). This means that the final allocation amount for each participating claimant may be reduced by 5%. As the final participation number has not been determined, it is a distinct possibility that the reduction may be less than 5% depending on the final number of participating claimants.
It is clear to the LCC that a small amount of the total settlement will be subject to a ratchet back as described in Section II(A)(1) of the MSA. The LCC believes that this amount will be less than 5% but greater than 2 1/2% of each individual claimant's allocation award. The LCC advises Counsel to plan accordingly as it is likely that your clients' amounts will be reduced.
Distribution of Held-back Funds
Consistent with Section II(A)(1) of the MSA as described above, the LCC is preparing to file a motion with the Court to allow the currently held-back funds to be distributed with in a very short period of time. These second payments will generally fall into the following categories and payment plans:
1) Non-explants: will receive their held-back funds less 5% for potential ratchet back under Section II (A)(1) of the MSA;
2) Explants that are not identified as having a potential lien from Blue Cross Blue Shield or UnitedHealth Care (i.e. those claimants that received a 75% first allocation): will receive their held-back funds less 5% for potential ratchet back under Section II(A)(1) of the MSA and less 15% for future potential TPP lien resolution payments (as explained below);
3) Explants that are identified as having a potential lien from Blue Cross Blue Shield or UnitedHealth Care (i.e. those that received a 60% first allocation): will receive their held-back funds less 5% for potential ratchet back under Section II(A)(1) of the MSA payment and less 20% for future potential TPP lien resolution payments.
It is the intention of the LCC to seek the approval of the Court to make the second payment to claimants consistent with above information on or before July 1, 2009. We will provide you with an update on this distribution the closer we get to this date.
TPP Reimbursement Program
The LCC is in the final stages of a lengthy negotiation process that will result in a voluntary, non-mandatory Third Party Payor Resolution program. This program will be available to claimants and counsel who wish to participate and will provide for a resolution of all outstanding TPP claims.
The terms of this program will be provided in a follow up memo to each claimant's counsel once the agreement is finalized. We anticipate that the program will be very favorable for those who choose to participate and who have not otherwise resolved their TPP claims as of this time.
The Garretson firm, on behalf of the PSC and LCC, has been implementing a program to resolve the claims of Medicare and Medicaid on a global basis. This program has been explained in detail to you in the past. We anticipate closure, payment and release of all Medicare and Medicaid claims in a timely fashion and consistent with the time frames provided herein.
Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.
Charles S. Zimmerman
Co-Lead and Liaison Counsel
A: CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS AS OF MAY 1, 2009
As we have mentioned, we appreciate everyone's continued patience for the settlement payments. At this time, there is no specific date when payment will occur. Further, there is no way to even "guesstimate" when payment will be issued. One thing which is certain is that claimants will not receive settlement proceeds in the 2008 calendar year. On the outside, we would hope that the Court completes administrative matters quickly and that all payments will occur before the end of 2009.
Guidant has acknowledged a 95% submission rate, and the settlement is deemed approved! Guidant will now begin funding an escrow account. However, for every claimant not participating, there is a pro-rata deduction from the settlement fund. No one at this time can predict what amount that will be.
In early January 2009, the Court will announce interim protocols in effectuating distribution of settlement funds. In the very similar Medtronic ICD litigation, it took about 9 months form the Court announcing interim protocols until payments were actually received (and only 40% at that).
The most likely outcome will be an initial, partial payment to claimants. In other litigations, advance checks of 40% of the total settlement have been issued pending resolution of outstanding issues. The balance will be paid after other matters are addressed by the Court, such as attorney fees and reducing liens with Medicare and Medicaid. Some believe courts should be able to resolve everything quickly and with one payment, but administrative complications often occur outside of a court's jurisdiction.
As far as your individual claims, the claims processing continues with regard to evaluating awards on "base" claims and, where applicable, "enhanced injury fund" and "wrongful death" claims. You should get letters from us by December 17, 2008, with the determinations.
We will update this page as soon as we get more information about the Court's interim payment protocols. At that time, we do not have any prediction on timing of payments. We expect to learn more about payment dates in the weeks following the plan approval.
If you would like to keep your finger on the pulse of the litigation, please visit the U.S. District of Minnesota Court at http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/MDL-Guidant/index.shtml to view the Orders and Minutes of Court proceedings as they happen and are posted to the Court's website.
Please email us at the above address if your mailing address has changed.
B. DOCUMENTS OF INTEREST :