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Palimony Suit Ends With $29-Million Settlement

March 14, 2000

ORANGE COUNTY — Ending one of the nation's most contentious and costly palimony battles, flashlight mogul Anthony Maglica has agreed to pay $29 million to his former companion of 20 years, Claire Maglica, a woman he never married who claims to have helped him build his multimillion-dollar company.

The settlement reached last week represents a fraction of the $84 million awarded to Claire Maglica by an Orange County jury in 1994. Believed to be the highest ever palimony judgment, the award was thrown out by an appeals court, which ordered a new trial.

Attorneys said the Maglicas agreed to an out-of-court settlement halfway into the two-month trial after several juror dismissals raised the specter of a mistrial, and another delay in the long-running case.

"Ms. Maglica views this as peace," said John Keker, Claire Maglica's attorney. "She settled because she decided that peace was more important than getting all that she deserved."

Claire Maglica's claim on half of Anthony Maglica's Ontario-based company--valued at $750 million by one estimate--hindered growth for years, said his attorney, Robert C. Weiss. The settlement, he said, will allow the 69-year-old Anaheim Hills resident to expand his firm, which produces the popular Mag-Lite flashlight.

Anthony Maglica, the son of Croatian immigrants, opened a machine shop in 1955 that blossomed into a multimillion-dollar business that makes flashlights especially popular with police officers. He met Claire Maglica, 65, in the early 1970s and eventually appointed her the company's executive vice president.

Though they were never married, Claire Maglica shared Anthony's last name and the two were known as husband and wife among the Orange County social elite.

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