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WA this week 10 years ago - CSR settles US asbestos claims

AUSTRALIAN building products and sugar giant CSR Ltd said it had settled a further 10,000 asbestos product claims in the US at a cost of $US2.5 million. CSR said the cost of the settlement would be charged against a provision in its accounts. Until 1966, the building products, sugar and aluminium group produced blue asbestos from its now-abandoned Wittenoom mine in Western Australia, which eventually led to damage claims both in Australia and the US. The US claims were from the states of West Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and CSR said it had now settled all outstanding claims against the company in Mississippi. Settled claims will cost the company $US13.3 million and include the claims where the company was found guilty in a common issues trial in 1993. CSR settled about a quarter of the 44,000 outstanding US asbestos claims in 1995 and made provisions of $A156 million to cover future claims and costs. Blue asbestos fibres have been linked with mesothelioma, an incurable lung cancer.

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