T&N welcomes American ruling on asbestos deal

T&N, the engineering and motor components group, said a US court ruling on settlement of asbestos illness claims would cause a fall of about 50 per cent in the charges it has been making to cover asbestos-related costs over the next five years.

The settlement, upheld yesterday by a federal court in Philadelphia, is expected to resolve 100,000 asbestos-related claims, providing dollars 1bn ( pounds 660m) to claimants over the first 10 years of the agreement.

The deal was negotiated between lawyers for the victims of the diseases and the Center for Claims Resolution, representing 20 companies formerly involved in the asbestos industry, including T&N.

The class-action settlement will mean that claims are no longer subject to litigation but are settled according to set administrative procedures, with the total awards paid out each year being capped.

T&N, as Turner and Newall, was one of Britain's largest manufacturers of asbestos products in the late 1960s. The company was forced to diversify into other areas as the dangers of asbestos-related illness became apparent.

Shares in T&N closed 9p higher at 248p following the news of the judgment yesterday.