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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The underlying case involves the claims of over 2,000 plaintiffs, about half of them minors, who were allegedly exposed to a hazardous chemical that leaked from a railroad tanker car. One of the defendants, Kansas City Southern Industries Inc., agreed to settle all of the minors’ claims for $300,300. The precise amount to be paid each minor varied, depending on his or her physical symptoms, extent of treatment, and location at the time of the chemical release. All parties agree that all minor plaintiffs have fully recovered from any injuries and will have no future damages. KCSI tendered to plaintiffs’ attorneys a check for $300,300 with the understanding that it would not be negotiated before the documents had been executed releasing all of the minors’ claims against KCSI. Plaintiffs’ attorneys, however, were unable to obtain releases from about 30 percent of the minor plaintiffs. In some cases, the minors’ parents objected to the settlement; in others, the minors simply could not be found. About two months after tendering its check, KCSI asked the trial court to order plaintiffs’ attorneys to return that part of the settlement allocated to those minors for whom releases had not been obtained. Plaintiffs’ attorneys and the court-appointed guardian ad litem opposed this motion, supported by the ad litem’s affidavit that it was in the best interests of all the children to settle their respective claims, whether their parents or guardians knew of and approved the settlement or not. After the ad litem also provided releases for those minors who had not yet been found, the court rejected KCSI’s motion and ordered the entire settlement paid into the registry of the court. The order, titled Interlocutory Final Judgment, released KCSI from any further liability as to all the named minor plaintiffs regardless of whether a parent or next friend approved, or in some cases even knew about, the settlement. Rather than obtain a final judgment and appeal, KCSI petitioned the court of appeals for mandamus relief, asserting that approximately $85,000 of the settlement still in the registry of the court should be immediately returned. KCSI complained that the trial court abused its discretion in approving settlements for minors that could not be found or might not exist. KCSI argued that the court had impermissibly seized its money by holding the missing minors’ share in the court’s registry. When the court of appeals declined to grant relief, KCSI petitioned this court for writ of mandamus. HOLDING:Denied. KCSI argues that its remedy by appeal is inadequate because the trial court has improperly deprived it of the “valuable use” of its own money. That is not the permanent loss of substantial rights; it is really only a complaint that the normal appellate remedy is too slow. The cost or delay incident to pursuing an appeal does not make the remedy inadequate. OPINION:Phillips, C.J. Hecht, J., concurs.

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