Dow Corning Corp. agreed to a settlement of $3.2 billion dollars for the 170,000 women who claimed they had been ill as a result of the corporation’s implants. The complications the claimants attribute to their implants include surgical problems, and long-term diseases affecting the immune system. The two most common diseases rheumatoid arthritis and lupus cause pain and fatigue among other symptoms. The agreement has not completely satisfied the entirety of the claimants or their lawyers, but everybody agrees the settlement is a step in the right direction. The current agreement has a clause which would allow individual women, unhappy with the terms, to reject the settlement and pursue a separate lawsuit.
Dow Corning was the largest manufacturer of implants in the United States; but during the six year legal battle that led to this settlement had to file for bankruptcy and no longer makes implants. Under the new tentative agreement, individual women receive from twelve thousand to sixty thousand dollars and will also receive five thousand dollars to cover surgical removal of their implants. Women whose implants ruptured will receive an additional twenty-five thousand dollars to cover medical expenses.