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July 31, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fibreboard Asbestos Settlement Upheld on Appeal: Fibreboard Corp. said a federal appeals court upheld a settlement of more than $3 billion for claims by asbestos disease victims. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled last week that a so-called global settlement among Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Fibreboard, its insurers and representatives in a class-action suit by asbestos disease victims can go forward. Under the global settlement, Fibreboard's insurers are to pay off existing settlements and assume responsibility for any claims filed before Aug. 27, 1993. The settlement bars future claims against the company or its insurers. The insurers are Pacific Indemnity, a unit of Chubb Corp., and Continental Casualty, a unit of CNA Financial Corp. The case can still be appealed. Attorneys for plaintiffs couldn't be reached for comment. In May, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia threw out a $1.3-billion settlement among class-action plaintiffs and 20 former asbestos manufacturers. Fibreboard wasn't involved in that case.

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