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September 8, 2004

Pfizer settles lawsuit

NEW YORK

Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay $430 million (all funds U.S.) to settle all lawsuits against it alleging injury from insulation products made by a subsidiary, the firm reports.

Pfizer and its Quigley Co. subsidiary were named, along with several other defendants, in 171,611 lawsuits claiming personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos, silica or mixed dust.

Pfizer acquired Quigley Co. in 1968. It sold some products containing asbestos until the early 1970s.

Pfizer will establish a trust for the payment of pending claims as well as any future claims. It will contribute $405 million to the trust over 40 years through a note, and about $100 million in insurance. Pfizer will also forgive a $30-million loan to Quigley.

Quigley will file a reorganization plan that needs to be approved by the bankruptcy court and confirmed by a vote of 75 per cent of the claimants.

Pfizer will take a $229-million charge in the third quarter for the settlement.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected the company to earn $4.08 billion, or 54 cents a share, in the third quarter.

The Associated Press

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