Babcock & Wilcox settles suit for $52M

April 19, 2009 at 7:10 PM
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PITTSBURGH, April 19 (UPI) -- Hundreds of western Pennsylvania residents who alleged radiation exposure are entitled to $52.2 million in damages from Babcock & Wilcox Co., a judge says.

U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose approved a settlement between the manufacturer and 365 claimants who say airborne radioactive emissions from B&W plants northeast of Pittsburgh caused cancer, deaths and other illness, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Between 1957 and 1986, the properties were owned by Atlantic Richfield Co. and the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. B&W had long contended its operations did not cause cancer, but the plaintiffs allege the company and its predecessors ran sloppy operations, releasing radioactive emissions exceeding federal limits, the newspaper said.

The 14-year lawsuit was one of the longest-running cases in the history of the U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania, with 40 percent of the original plaintiffs now deceased and represented by their estates.

Court documents indicated the final agreement and its terms, outside of the settlement figure, remain confidential, the Tribune-Review said.

Atlantic Richfield settled separately for for $27.5 million in February 2008.

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