Judge approves breast-implant settlement

April 05, 1994|By Los Angeles Times

A record-breaking $3.75 billion settlement for women suffering from leaking breast implants cleared its first major hurdle yesterday as a federal judge tentatively approved the deal and set deadlines for filing claims.

U.S. District Judge Sam C. Pointer Jr. of Birmingham, Ala., also appointed Judge Ann T. Cochran of Houston, Texas, to serve as the claims administrator for the settlement fund. She has been the coordinating judge for hundreds of breast implant cases pending in Texas.

To protect the settlement fund from being drained by excessive legal fees and other costs, Judge Pointer decreed that at least 75 percent of the money will go to women with implants.

A public information campaign on the class-action settlement is scheduled to start on April 18. A toll-free number (1-800-887-6828) for information already has been set up.

The accord will last 30 years. It provides compensation for women who are ill and is designed to operate like an insurance policy for future compensation for future illness.

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