A decision by U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood could end the lengthy court case against Dow Corning, manufacturer of silicone breast implants. In June 1999, Dow Corning, a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Corning Inc., agreed to pay a total of $3.2 billion in settlements to more than 170,000 women who sued the company for health problems resulting from the silicone implants. In December 1999, federal Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Spector said that any woman not satisfied with Dow Corning’s offer could pursue lawsuits against the parent companies. On Monday, Judge Hood reversed Judge Spector’s opinion, ruling that women who reject Dow Corning’s offer may not sue either parent company. Lawyers representing women in Nevada who have rejected Dow Corning’s settlement are planning an appeal of Hood’s ruling, saying Hood has taken away the women’s rights to say “no” to Dow Corning’s offer.