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January 18, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Companies Unveil Asbestos Settlement Plan: In a bid to keep tens of thousands of cases out of crowded courts, lawyers announced a plan to settle future claims against 20 companies by workers injured breathing deadly asbestos fibers. Attorneys said the proposal is the first time that defendants and plaintiffs in the more than 20-year-old asbestos saga have agreed outside of bankruptcy court to a method of settling cases against multiple companies. Future claimants meeting specific medical criteria would receive $2,500 to more than $300,000 for asbestos-related injuries, payable in six months or less. The settlement must be approved by U.S. District Judge Charles Weiner in Philadelphia.

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