Rumors Of Dow Corning's Death...

IS THIS THREAT FOR REAL? Dow Corning announced on May 5 that it is "actively considering" filing for bankruptcy-law protection. The chemical maker reported robust first-quarter earnings but noted that escalating legal costs from breast-implant litigation could impair its operations. That is, perhaps, an understatement: A federal judge determined that a $4.2 billion global settlement reached with Dow Corning and other companies last year will not nearly compensate all the women filing claims. Nevertheless, some legal experts think that Dow Corning's bankruptcy warning is merely a bluff meant to cow plaintiffs into settling. Dow Corning has gotten some good news lately, too: On Apr. 24, the government said it had dropped a two-year criminal inquiry related to implants.

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