An independent panel of three well-respected medical doctors selected under the class settlement has developed an initial protocol for medical monitoring of class members related to the six human diseases for which the Science Panel has delivered probable link findings. The medical panel was constituted pursuant to the terms of the Class Action Settlement Agreement (Section 12.3) after the C8 Science Panel delivered its findings of probable link between C8 exposure and human disease. An initial C8 Medical Panel Report was submitted May 24, 2013.
The members of the Medical Panel were jointly selected by mutual agreement of the settling parties. The three selected medical panelists are:
Dean Baker, MD, MPH
Director, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology
University of California, Irvine
Melissa A. McDiarmid, MD, MPH, DABT
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health
Director of Occupational Health Program
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Harold C. Sox, M.D.
Professor of Medicine and of the Dartmouth Institute (Emeritus, Active)
Dartmouth Medical School
The final medical monitoring recommendations and actual medical monitoring program documents were publicly released on September 2, 2014 and can be found <here>. These new medical monitoring benefits include a free C8 blood test, a free in-person doctor visit, a free cholesterol test, and numerous other tests to detect the onset of the six linked diseases.
In determining whether and what Medical Monitoring should be included in the Medical Monitoring Protocol, the Medical Panel was required to consider:
- Increased Risk. The Medical Panel need not conclude that the particular Human Disease addressed by any Probable Link Finding is certain or even likely to occur among the Class Members as a result of their C8 exposure. Al that must be demonstrated is that the Class Member has a significantly increased risk of contracting the particular Human Disease relative to what would be the case in the absence of exposure. No particular level of quantification is necessary to satisfy this requirement.
- Necessity of Diagnostic Testing. The increased risk of the Human Disease(s) addressed by any Probably Link Finding must make it reasonably necessary for the Class Member to undergo periodic diagnostic medical examinations different from what would be prescribed in the absence of exposure to C-8. Diagnostic testing must be reasonably necessary in the sense that it must be something that a qualified physician would prescribe based upon demonstrated exposure to a particular toxic agent. While there obviously must be some reasonable medical basis for undergoing diagnostic monitoring, factors such as financial cost and the frequency of testing need not necessarily be given significant weight. Moreover, the requirement that diagnostic testing must be medically advisable does not necessarily preclude the situation where such a determination is based, at least in part, upon the subjective desires of a Class Member for information concerning the state of his or her health.
- Existence of Monitoring Procedures. Medical Monitoring for the Human Disease(s) addressed in a Probable Link Finding must be available. If no such test exists, then periodic monitoring is of no assistance and the cost of such monitoring is not available. In the event diagnostic testing later becomes available then the Medical Panel may incorporate such testing in the Medical Monitoring Protocol at such later time. It is not, however, necessary to show that any treatment currently exists for any Human Disease(s) addressed in a Probable Link Finding before diagnostic testing for such Human Disease(s) can be incorporated into the Medical Monitoring Protocol.
- The Medical Panel shall develop a form to be completed by a personal physician of any Class Member seeking reimbursement for any Medical Monitoring including in the Medical Monitoring Protocol that provides a basis for the Administrator to determine whether the Class Member at issue should be reimbursed for Medical Monitoring. Medical Monitoring that the Class Member’s personal physician would have prescribed for the Class Member even if the Class Member had not been exposed to C-8 shall not qualify for reimbursement from the Medical Monitoring Fund.
The Medical Panel can amend its Medical Monitoring Protocol or any individual finding based upon consideration of new developments or by application of the settling parties.
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