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ARCO, FOUR WESTERN STATES AGREE TO SETTLE CLAIMS IN FEDERAL COURT ANTI-TRUST SUIT

 ARCO, FOUR WESTERN STATES AGREE TO SETTLE CLAIMS
 IN FEDERAL COURT ANTI-TRUST SUIT
 LOS ANGELES, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- ARCO (NYSE: ARC) said today it has agreed with the states of California, Washington, Arizona and Oregon on terms for settling all remaining claims related to pending anti-trust cases in federal court.
 The settlement provides that ARCO will pay $25 million. ARCO said it had previously provided for this potential liability.
 The agreement ends ARCO's involvement in what was once seven class- action lawsuits filed by the state attorneys general in the wake of the 1972-73 petroleum products shortage. The suits alleged that the shortage resulted from an unlawful conspiracy among ARCO and seven other oil companies, and that prior to this period the companies conspired to fix the retail price of gasoline.
 The suits sought damages on behalf of all retail gasoline purchasers in the plaintiff states from 1958 through the end of federal price controls on gasoline in early 1981.
 Also named as defendants were Chevron, Texaco, Unocal, Exxon, Mobil, Shell and Gulf. Exxon reached a settlement agreement earlier this year; Unocal and Texaco recently agreed to settle.
 "We believe that the charges are without merit and that our legal defenses are valid," said ARCO general counsel Francis X. McCormack. "However, because of the continuing expense and distraction of these cases, combined with the risks inherent in a jury trial, we feel it is prudent to settle now. These cases were filed in the mid-1970s, and we are weary of them."
 In 1986, U.S. District Judge William P. Gray dismissed the cases, saying there was insufficient evidence to take them to a jury. His ruling was reversed on appeal in 1990, and trial was expected to begin later this year or next year before U.S. District Judge Wallace Tashima in Los Angeles.
 The settlement will also result in dismissal of ARCO from a companion case in California Superior Court in San Francisco. Similar lawsuits on behalf of Kansas, Connecticut and Florida were dismissed at earlier stages of the litigation.
 -0- 4/22/92 R
 /CONTACT: Albert Greenstein of ARCO, 213-486-3384/
 (ARC) CO: ARCO ST: California IN: OIL SU:


DM-AL -- LA023 -- 1524 04/22/92 17:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 22, 1992
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