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Halliburton Co., the energy services company once led by Vice President Dick Cheney, has received approval for a $4.2 billion settlement with asbestos plaintiffs. Judge Judith Fitzgerald of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh signed an order confirming a reorganization plan for several Halliburton subsidiaries, including DII Industries and KBR. DII was the former Dresser Industries and KBR was once Kellogg Brown & Root. Halliburton, based in Houston, had filed for Chapter 11 protection for DII, Kellogg Brown & Root and other units on Dec. 16 via a prepackaged plan that included the $4.2 billion settlement. Fitzgerald had said she would approve the reorganization plan at a confirmation hearing on May 10, but didn’t actually sign the order until July 16. Halliburton and plaintiffs lawyers had agreed prior to the bankruptcy filings that Halliburton would retain all the shares in DII and Kellogg Brown & Root throughout the bankruptcy proceeding and upon their exit. Under the reorganization plan, Halliburton will create a 524g trust, a vehicle established by Congress that will be funded with $4.2 billion in assets that Halliburton will contribute. The plan should block all future asbestos litigation against Halliburton because anyone with an asbestos-related claim must go to the trust for compensation. Halliburton and asbestos plaintiffs’ lawyers worked out the plan for a year prior to the Chapter 11 filings. Copyright �2004 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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