Settlement offers may be made to some downwinders

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SPOKANE, Wash. — The lead lawyer for government contractors in the long-running Hanford downwinders lawsuit says his companies are ready to offer cash settlements to some of the more than 2,000 people who believe their illnesses were caused by radiation released from the nuclear reservation.

Attorney Kevin Van Wart, of Chicago, who represents Hanford contractors E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. and General Electric Co., said his clients were willing to settle some claims of people exposed to the most radiation, The Spokesman-Review reported. He spoke at a status conference on the 18-year-old lawsuit, hosted by U.S. District Judge William Nielsen on Tuesday.

“This case has been caught on dead center for too long,” Nielsen told the attorneys. “Let’s come up with something so we can proceed.


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