How much you get from the settlement will depend on whether you file a claim and, if you do, what type of claim you file. The details of the claim options are as follows:
Tier 1 – Every Settlement Class Member is eligible for a Tier 1 Award payment of $2,500.
Settlement Class Members who could be pre-identified through UCLA’s records were assigned a unique Claimant ID number. If you received a notice with a Claimant ID number on the upper right-hand corner of each page, your membership in the Class is established. UCLA’s records cover the period from 2006 to June 28, 2018 at UCLA Medical Center; July 22, 2004 to January 21, 2010 at UCLA’s student health center; and February 1, 2014 to June 28, 2018 at Dr. Heaps’s medical offices at 100 UCLA Medical Plaza.
If you have not been pre-identified but believe you are a Class Member, you must submit a Statement of Class Membership attesting to facts showing that you are a member of the Class. You can find and submit this Statement of Class Membership here.
Each Settlement Class Member who can be identified through UCLA’s records, or who submits a valid Statement of Class Membership, will be mailed a Tier 1 Settlement check. This Tier 1 payment will be mailed even if you also submit a Tier 2 or Tier 3 Claim Form.
A Settlement Class Member who accepts a Tier 1 Award remains eligible to make a Tier 2 or Tier 3 Claim, as described below. The Tier 1 Award shall be counted against any further awards, but under no circumstances will a Settlement Class Member be required to return a Tier 1 Award.
Tier 2 – Each Settlement Class Member can also choose to submit an online or written Tier 2 Claim Form describing your experience with Dr. Heaps, the impact on you, and the emotional distress and/or bodily injury you suffered.
Submitting a Tier 2 Claim is optional and if you qualify as a Settlement Class Member, you will be sent the Tier 1 Award even if you do not submit a Tier 2 Claim.
Each Tier 2 Claim will be reviewed by an impartial three-person panel that includes a court-appointed Special Master, a forensic psychologist/psychiatrist, and an OB/GYN.
If you submit a Tier 2 Claim, the panel may ask you additional questions, to be answered in writing. If that happens, you may decline to answer, although doing so could affect your eligibility for a Tier 2 Award.
If the panel determines that your Tier 2 Claim is credible, and that the conduct by Dr. Heaps fell outside the scope of accepted medical standards of care applicable during the relevant time, or is otherwise actionable, you will be awarded an additional payment of $10,000 (for a total Tier 2 Award payment of $12,500), subject to pro rata adjustment as detailed below. If the panel determines you are not entitled to a Tier 2 Award, you will still receive the Tier 1 Award.
Tier 3 – Tier 3 Claims are for Settlement Class Members who wish to provide further evidence of conduct or statement(s) by Dr. Heaps and their impact.
In addition to a Claim Form describing your experience, the impact on you, and/or the emotional distress and/or bodily injury you suffered, you may submit additional evidence of impact or damages, which may include, for example, evidence of medical expenses or previous formal or informal complaints. You will also be interviewed by a member of the Special Master’s team about your experience and its impact on you. The interviewer will then provide an assessment to the panel. The interviewer will be a neutral, trained specialist. The purpose of the interview is to collect information about your claim—the interview is not a cross-examination.
Submitting a Tier 3 Claim is optional and if you qualify as a Settlement Class Member, you will be sent the Tier 1 Award even if you do not submit a Tier 3 Claim.
Based on all information provided, the panel will determine whether each Tier 3 Claim is credible and may award a total Tier 3 Award payment between $12,500 and $250,000, subject to pro rata adjustment as detailed below. The panel will determine Tier 3 claim eligibility and awards by assessing whether the conduct described falls outside the scope of accepted medical standards of care applicable during the relevant time, or is otherwise actionable, and based on an assessment of the emotional distress and/or bodily injury to you.
In addition, $5 million of the Settlement Fund will be set aside for Supplemental Awards to Tier 3 claimants. The panel has discretion to make a Supplemental Award in extraordinary cases when it determines that more money is necessary to adequately compensate a claimant who is otherwise eligible to receive the maximum Tier 3 Award. The panel may decide on a Supplemental Award of any amount for an individual eligible to receive a maximum Tier 3 Award, as long as the total amount of all Supplemental Awards does not exceed $5 million.
If the Special Master determines that you are not entitled to a Tier 3 Award, you will still be sent the Tier 1 Award if you are confirmed to be a Settlement Class Member.
Pro Rata Adjustments
If the total of all Tier 1, 2 and 3 Awards is less than the Settlement Amount of $73 million, Tier 2 and Tier 3 Awards will be increased pro rata (by the same percentage) until the Settlement Amount is reached or all Tier 2 and 3 Awards have been increased by 50%, whichever comes first. If all Tier 2 and Tier 3 Awards have been increased by 50% and the Settlement Fund is not exhausted, the balance will be distributed equally among all Settlement Class Members, unless doing so would result in distributions of less than $100 per claimant, in which case the remaining balance will be applied to increase the distributions to Tier 2 and Tier 3 Claimants.
If the total payments for all Tier 1, 2 and 3 Awards exceeds the Settlement Amount of $73 million, all Tier 2 and 3 Awards will be decreased pro rata (by the same percentage) until the Settlement Amount is reached. Tier 1 Awards will not be reduced.
The amount of money you will receive also depends on any legally enforceable liens on the Claim Award. The amount paid to resolve any liens for Settlement Class Members will be paid out of such Settlement Class Member’s Claim Award.