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ARKWRIGHT AND ILLINI?S BELL SETTLE LAWSUIT FROM 1988 MOTHER'S DAY FIRE FOR $16 MILLION

 MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Arkwright Insurance Company and Illinois Bell Telephone Company have settled their lawsuit from the 1988 Mother's Day fire at the Hinsdale, Ill. telecommunications switching station for $16 million.
 Arkwright and Illinois Bell sued Garrett & West of Knoxville, Tenn. to recover property damages to the regional telephone facility. Garrett & West, which performs telephone equipment removal and cable mining services, settled the dispute for $11 million, the limits of the its insurance coverage. Arkwright had earlier settled with AT&T, a co- defendant in the lawsuit, for a lesser, undisclosed amount.
 "The fire affected close to one-half million residential and business customers and has been identified as the most serious telephone fire in the U.S.," said Richard Allyn, an attorney for Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi representing Arkwright and Illinois Bell.
 A one-year, cooperative state and private investigation concluded that the fire started in an overhead tray containing numerous power and communications cables where a Garrett & West technician had been working. An armored cable contacted a damaged power cable left exposed by the technician, who used a metal prybar while working in the overhead rack. The fire quickly spread throughout the trays, repeatedly arcing and releasing smoke and other corrosive products of combustion. The telephone switch was irreparably destroyed within minutes.
 The Hinsdale Central Office is a major communications center, which provides telephone service to local lines, trunks for long distance routing, and voice and data communications services to communities west and southwest of Chicago.
 "This is believed to be the largest subrogation recovery in the history of the Factory Mutual system, which insures major commercial and industrial facilities," said Terrence R. Joy, an attorney for Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.
 Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi is a national law firm with offices in nine U.S. cities.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /CONTACT: Richard B. Allyn, 612-349-8571, or Terrence R. Joy, 612-349-8566, both of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi; or Gail D. Shore of Shore to Shore Communications, 612-925-6102/


CO: Arkwright Insurance Company; Illinois Bell ST: Minnesota, Illinois IN: SU:

MA -- MN018 -- 2823 01/07/93 16:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 7, 1993
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