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U.S. Steel settles $250 million asbestos award


PITTSBURGH--United States Steel Corp. has settled an asbestos liability case after a state court jury in Madison County, Ill., returned a $250 million verdict against the company.

Roby Whittington, who had worked at Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel's plant in Gary, Ind., from 1950 to 1981, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2001. Mr. Whittington claimed the disease was caused by exposure to asbestos while working at the plant, and contended that the company had not adequately protected workers from the asbestos.

The case went to trial and on March 28, the jury awarded Mr. Whittington $50 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages.

U.S. Steel indicated last week that it was considering an appeal and on Monday it announced that it had settled the case for "substantially less than the compensatory damage award." The steelmaker refused to give further details.