Dow Corning Offers to Settle Out of Court

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MIDLAND, Michigan: Less than a week after a Louisiana jury ruled that Dow Chemical had misled women about the negative consequences of its silicone breast implants, a subsidiary of the corporation, Dow Corning Corp., today offered to settle out of court for $2.4 billion. 200,000 women worldwide each stand to gain between $1,000 and $200,000, but lawyers for the women say the offer short-changes their clients and ignores thousands of additional plaintiffs.

In an effort to guarantee approval, the company said it would up the overall payout if more than two thirds of the women approve the plan. But while Dow offered to cough up the green, it refused to admit its breast-enhancing product causes disease. "We still believe very strongly that the scientific evidence shows there's no connection between breast implants and medical conditions," said Dow Corning CEO Richard Hazleton. A trial, slated to begin later this month, will attempt to determine if the implants are linked to any illnesses.