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Court's Ruling Seen Spurning Settlement of Asbestos Claims

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More than 6,000 public and private schools will benefit from the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this month not to review the financial reorganization plan of the Johns-Manville Corporation, a former asbestos manufacturer.

Manville had filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code in 1982. Its reorganization plan, which will include property-damage compensation for 5,040 public schools and school districts and 1,220 private schools, was stalled pending the High Court's decision on a challenge to the bankruptcy pro4posal. (See Education Week, Oct. 12, 1988.)

Under the plan, the company has established two trust funds--one to handle personal-injury claims and the other to handle property-damage claims by schools and other purchasers of its asbestos-containing products.

The property-damages fund will initially receive $100 million from Manville and $25 million from the personal-injury fund.

William Bullock, the company's director for investor relations, said that depending on the amount the company receives in settlements with its insurance carriers, an additional $235 million may be shifted from the personal-injury fund to the property-damages trust.

Mr. Bullock said he did not know when schools would begin to receive money from the property-damages fund. He said that further information about the fund can be obtained by writing the Manville Property Damage Settlement Trust, Claims Resolution Facility, P.O. Box 15808, Park Square Station, Stamford, Ct. 06901.--ef

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