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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

236 Residents' Claims Against Lockheed Dismissed

September 02, 2000

BURBANK — A judge on Friday dismissed the claims of 236 residents that toxic contamination from Lockheed Martin in Burbank sickened them and decreased their property values.

Superior Court Judge Carl J. West further reduced the number of plaintiffs in a once-massive lawsuit against Lockheed. The action claims the aerospace giant caused cancer and other illnesses among Burbank residents by releasing toxic chemicals into the soil and ground water over decades.

Fewer than 200 plaintiffs are left in the state lawsuit that once listed 2,400, said Thomas G. Foley, their lawyer.

Most of the plaintiffs who were dismissed Friday had failed to provide the information needed to support their legal claims, West said.

Hundreds more have withdrawn their claims, some under a state law that allows them to back out without legal consequences. Lockheed had warned plaintiffs they could be liable for the company's legal costs if they lost at trial.

The lawsuit was filed in 1996, after published reports that Lockheed paid $60 million to more than 1,200 Burbank residents in a confidential settlement of similar claims. The company has said it will fight any further suits.

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