Statement on the Death of Futures Representative, retired Federal Judge, The Hon. Charles Renfrew
The Trust mourns deeply the loss of its distinguished Futures Representative, retired U.S. Federal Judge Charles Renfrew, and extends its heartfelt sympathy to his family.
Serving as the Futures Representative since creation of the Trust, Judge Renfrew worked tirelessly on behalf of all future claimants to ensure that the Trust’s goals were met.
Trust rules make no provision for an interim Futures Representative and require that the Trustees act now to nominate a qualified individual to succeed Judge Renfrew. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco Division) must confirm the nominee.
The nomination selection process is underway and the new Futures Representative will be announced and submitted to the Bankruptcy Court for its approval in the coming weeks. Please call (775) 324-5511 with any questions.
Modification to Case Valuation Matrix
At the December Trustee meeting, a modification to the Case Valuation Matrix Section V(vii) Serious Asbestosis was approved by the Trustees, with the consent of the Futures Representative and Trust Advisory Committee. The modification is as follows:
“Serious Asbestosis” is
1. Asbestosis with ILO 2/2 or greater and AMA Class IV Impairment
2. Where the Injured Person is “On Oxygen” and otherwise meets the requirements of subsections i, ii, or iii, below.
i. Injured Person has a diagnosis of asbestosis, has pulmonary function test results qualifying as Grade I, and a Pulmonologist or Occupational Medicine physician states that a contributing cause for the use of oxygen is asbestosis. Claim will be valued as a matrix claim even if there are other contributing causes listed for the need for oxygen.
ii. Injured Person has a diagnosis of asbestosis, but does not have pulmonary function test results qualifying as Grade I. Even though a Pulmonologist or Occupational Medicine physician states that the predominant cause or contributing cause for use of oxygen is asbestosis, claim a) will be valued under Individual Review and subject to the Individual Review process as described in Section VIII of the Matrix and b) if there are other contributing causes, the Trust will give equal weight to each cause for the need to be on oxygen.
iii. Injured Person has diagnosis of asbestosis, treating physician board certified in pulmonology or occupational medicine prescribes oxygen to the Injured Party, and the treating physician states the predominant need for oxygen is asbestosis. Regardless of the existence of other contributing causes for the need to be on oxygen, claim will be valued as a matrix claim.
“On Oxygen” means oxygen needed to perform activities of daily life, e.g., not oxygen that is prescribed only for comfort care, at night, for surgery, or on occasion.
3. “Asbestosis death” is where asbestosis is listed as the cause or a significant contributing cause of death on the death certificate, or where a report from a Pathologist, Pulmonologist, or an Occupational Medicine Physician states that asbestos was a significant contributing cause of death. If an Injured Person has evidence of serious asbestosis or asbestosis death, and exposure to (debtor) products or conduct was a substantial contributing cause of the serious asbestosis death, then the valuation criteria for lung cancer, including the base Lung Cancer case, as defined in (II)(a), shall be utilized to determine the value of the claim.
Timing of Requests for Consideration at Trustees’ Meetings
Below is the schedule for any requests for revisions to Trust policies or procedures, physician certification, modifications to an approved list, and/or TDP/Matrix interpretations or questions to be considered during 2018 Trustees’ meetings.
Trustees’ Meeting Deadline for Requests
February 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018
April 2018 Monday, March 12, 2018
September 2018 Monday, August 6, 2018
November 2018 Monday, October 8, 2018
Increase in Base Case for Economic and Medical Loss
At the October Trustee Meeting, a resolution was passed by the Trustees, with the consent of the TAC and Futures Representative that the base case for Medical and Economic loss will be indexed for all pending and futures claims, and that the index will be revised annually based upon the prior year’s Economic and Medical Care CPI.
The new indexed base cases values for 2017 are as follows:
New Economic Loss Base Case $253,368New Medical Loss Base Case $300,676
Possible Increase in Base Case for Economic and Medical Loss
This notice applies to all Trust claim filers and those who intend to file claims with the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust. The Trustees, with consent from the Trust Advisory Committee and Futures Representative, have determined that all claims submitted to the Trust after September 22, 2017, may be subject to adjustments in the economic and medical loss base case based upon generally accepted indices because of inflation.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a hearing on the motion to approve Western Asbestos Settlement Trust’s Thirteenth Annual Report and Accounting is scheduled for Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. before United States Bankruptcy Court Judge, the Honorable Hannah L. Blumenstiel, at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, located at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 16th Floor, San Francisco, California 94102 in Courtroom 19.