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HEALTH | NATION / WORLD

Judge OKs Firms' Deal With Hemophiliacs

May 08, 1997|(Associated Press)

About 6,200 hemophiliacs who contracted the AIDS virus through tainted blood products have reluctantly accepted a $600-million settlement from four drug firms. The approval by U.S. District Judge John Grady in Chicago paved the way for $100,000 individual payments to begin going to hemophiliacs or their surviving families this summer. The firms--Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter International Inc.; Armour Pharmaceutical/Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc. in Pennsylvania; Los Angeles-based Alpha Therapeutic Corp.; and Bayer, based in Germany--admitted no wrongdoing. The settlement covers hemophiliacs who contracted HIV through blood products from 1978 through 1985. Grady had given the proposed settlement preliminary approval in August. As the legal battle dragged on, plaintiffs were dying as rapidly as two a day, under one estimate. Grady later ordered the firms to work out the problems by May 31.

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