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Deadline Is Set for Filing Claims With Asbestos-Products Company

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Schools that purchased asbestos products manufactured by the Johns-Manville Corporation will have until Oct. 31 to file a claim for property-damage compensation, the Manville Property Damage Settlement Trust has decided.

Only those schools that originally filed property-damage claims with the firm by Jan. 31, 1985, will be eligible for compensation.

More than 5,000 public schools and school districts and 1,220 private schools will be eligible to receive partial compensation from the former asbestos maker, which filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code in 1982 in response to many asbestos-related lawsuits.

Kurt H. Schaffir, the executive director of the Manville Property Damage Settlement Trust, said eligible schools that file claims by the end of this month will receive payment by about March 1 of next year. Schools will receive a maximum of 12 to 32 percent of the damages they claimed, depending on the nature of the asbestos material they purchased and the type of work they undertook to remove it, he said.

The percentage could be lower, he said, if the trust does not have enough money to pay all claimants who file by the end of the month. Mr. Schaffir said that until the end of February 1990, the trust will not know how much money it will have available to distribute. The trust, which received $125 million from Manville and expects to receive more funds from insurance settlements, must keep a certain percentage in reserve to settle outstanding suits, he added.

Schools that miss the Oct. 31 deadline can file a year later for a second round of payments. However, Mr. Schaffir said, far less money will be available at that time.

Schools with further questions can call the trust's help line at (914) 948-5000.--ef

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