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August 15, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

HIV Settlement Offer Tentatively OKd: An estimated $640-million settlement offer from four drug companies to thousands of U.S. hemophiliacs infected with HIV from tainted blood products won preliminary approval from a federal judge in Chicago. The action means the offer will be formally sent to the hemophiliacs involved in the class-action suit for approval. The companies--Collegeville, Pa.-based Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter International Inc., Germany's Bayer and Japan's Green Cross Corp.--are offering $100,000 to each of the estimated 6,000 U.S. hemophiliacs infected with the virus that causes AIDS. People who used the companies' blood-clotting products between 1978 and 1985 and contracted HIV are eligible, the companies said. David Shrager, lead attorney for the hemophiliacs, said the settlement is probably the only way that many of them will get compensation for their suffering.

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