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ARMSTRONG WORLD INDUSTRIES ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING CCR ANNOUNCEMENT

 LANCASTER, Pa., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (NYSE: ACK), described as "an important, positive measure" the announcement made today by the Center for Claims Resolution (CCR) regarding a proposed innovative claims resolution program to efficiently manage and compensate future claims of impairment from asbestos-related exposure.
 Armstrong is a member of the CCR, a Princeton-based organization that was set up to handle asbestos-related personal-injury claims in a progressive manner.
 The CCR announcement, released earlier today, reads as follows:
 In a historic turn of events, traditional courtroom adversaries
 today announced an unprecedented voluntary agreement to resolve
 future asbestos personal-injury claims--not through burdensome
 courtroom proceedings, but rather through a court-approved
 compensation program.
 Initially the program would involve new claims against the 20
 members of the Center for Claims Resolution. Architects of the
 plan are optimistic, however, that the negotiated class action
 settlement can ultimately provide a model and a framework to
 finally bring the 20-year-old asbestos litigation crisis to an end.
 Developed cooperatively by the CCR, a non-profit organization
 of asbestos defendant companies, and leading asbestos plaintiffs'
 attorneys Gene Locks of Greitzer and Locks, Philadelphia, and
 Ronald Motley and Joseph Rice of Ness, Motley, Loadholt, Richardson
 & Poole, Charleston, S.C., the settlement represents a landmark
 proposal to resolve the differences between the traditionally
 opposing interests in asbestos litigation.
 According to its drafters, the settlement is an idea whose
 time has come.
 "For nearly two decades we've watched as the inefficiency and
 inequity of asbestos litigation grew to crisis proportions,
 increased the suffering of asbestos victims and drove 16 defendant
 companies into bankruptcy," said CCR Chief Executive Officer
 Lawrence Fitzpatrick. "Enough is enough. The time has come to put
 aside our differences and come up with a system for handling
 asbestos claims that fairly represents the interests of everyone
 involved in this litigation."
 The proposed class action settlement to handle all future
 personal-injury claims (those not pending as of the date of the
 settlement's filing) against CCR members was filed today with
 the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. In its simplest form,
 the proposal would pay the sick, preserve the rights of those
 who have been exposed to asbestos, protect defendant companies
 from meritless claims and provide relief for the overburdened
 courts.
 Any person who has been occupationally exposed to asbestos
 through a CCR company's product is a potential class member and
 would be eligible to file for compensation from CCR. Using
 court-approved medical criteria, exposure requirements and
 compensation schedules, CCR would process and pay qualifying
 claimants generally within six months or less. Over the next
 decade, CCR expects the program to provide more than $1 billion
 in compensation to some 100,000 victims of occupational asbestos
 exposure.
 "This is truly a historic event. Finally, defendants and
 plaintiffs' counsel have achieved a meeting of the minds on key
 issues that historically have plagued asbestos litigation,"
 Fitzpatrick said.
 "This settlement is a hopeful sign that we have all learned
 from the problems of the past and are prepared to move forward
 toward a more fair and equitable future. We believe our proposal
 accounts for all probable contingencies and will provide future
 claimants a significantly improved alternative to the present
 tort system," he said. "We are very proud of our efforts."
 According to its drafters, the futures compensation program
 would assure:
 -- efficient and timely management of asbestos claims
 -- prompt recourse for the genuinely impaired
 -- equitable compensation based on court-approved criteria
 -- flexibility to provide for unusual claims or circumstances
 -- devotion of available resources to the payment of claims
 rather than legal fees
 The Philadelphia court will conduct a fairness hearing to
 review the terms of the proposed settlement. The settlement will
 become final only after it has received full approval by the
 courts. Among the issues to be determined by the court (or agreed
 upon by insurers) are that the settlement fairly represents the
 legal obligations of defendants and that participation in the
 settlement has not jeopardized the insurance coverage available to
 defendants. Potential class members who do not want to participate
 will have the opportunity to withdraw from the settlement.
 In commenting on the program announced by CCR, an Armstrong spokesman said, "This is an important, positive measure that provides a way to bring order to the tangle of asbestos-related litigation that currently clogs the courts.
 "Its adoption will mean that truly impaired persons receive fair compensation promptly. Litigation costs for both plaintiffs and defendants should be substantially reduced, so the money could be redirected to truly deserving claimants. A great case-load burden will be lifted from the courts. And the rights of all parties involved in the litigation will be protected."
 He explained, "Armstrong World Industries is committed to the swift and equitable compensation of deserving asbestos claimants and to the development of a comprehensive program for the just resolution of asbestos-related personal-injury claims. Toward this end, Armstrong has been an active member of the Center for Claims Resolution since its inception (and prior to that, of the Asbestos Claims Facility). We strongly support the Center's efforts to address the inefficient and slow nature of the asbestos claims process.
 "We believe the class action settlement proposed cooperatively by the Center for Claims Resolution and plaintiffs' attorneys represents a landmark step in the right direction. In a litigation plagued by long delays and gross inequities, this proposal successfully balances the competing needs for efficiency and fairness and provides a realistic plan for managing and compensating future claims.
 "We are optimistic the court will find that the proposal is not only fair to all parties involved but that it also represents a significant improvement over the present system for handling asbestos-related personal-injury claims.
 "Armstrong fully supports the proposed settlement and applauds the historic effort by plaintiffs' and defense counsel to develop this program."
 -0- 1/15/93
 /CONTACT: Armstrong Public Relations, 717-396-3313/
 (ACK)


CO: Armstrong World Industries, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

LJ -- PH024 -- 5481 01/15/93 15:53 EST
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Date:Jan 15, 1993
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