Qwest Communications International Inc., the primary local telephone provider in 14 mostly Western states, reported a smaller loss for the third quarter on Tuesday and announced a tentative $400 million settlement of shareholder lawsuits stemming from an accounting scandal that forced it to restate billions of dollars of revenue.

The proposed settlement, which is subject to court approval among other conditions, would resolve claims against the company, some former executives and its board of directors — but not former Chief Executive Joseph Nacchio and former Chief Financial Officer Robert Woodruff.