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MENTOR REACHES AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE TO END BREAST IMPLANT LITIGATION

 SANTA BARBARA, Calif., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Mentor Corp. (NASDAQ: MNTR) and the Federal Multi-District Litigation Plaintiffs Steering Committee today reported that they have reached an agreement in principle that could settle all breast implant litigation against Mentor.
 The agreement in principle, which is subject to approval by the Federal Court in Birmingham, Ala., would establish a settlement fund of $24 million to be funded by Mentor and its insurers. Distribution of the funds will be determined by the court. As a condition of settlement, Mentor has also agreed to stop marketing silicon-gel breast implants within 18 months after the closing of the agreement.
 "Mentor is the first of the breast implant manufacturers to reach an agreement with us," said Margaret Moses Branch, spokesperson for the Plaintiffs Steering Committee. "Negotiations between the MDL Plaintiffs Steering Committee and Mentor have been ongoing for many months, and are not connected or related to discussions with other defendants that have recently been reported. We are very pleased that, because Mentor has acted responsibly, the company's limited resources will not be dissipated in prolonged litigation and we are able to deliver the optimum benefit in light of the company's limited fund status to women who have Mentor implants."
 Branch also stated that women with Mentor silicone-gel implants will still have a claim against Dow Corning because Dow Corning supplied Mentor with the gel used in the implants. Branch also announced that the Plaintiffs Steering Committee would not apply for attorneys fees from the settlement funds and that individual attorney contracts would be honored.
 "We believe this settlement is in the best interests of the company," stated Christopher J. Conway, Mentor Corp.'s chairman. "The ability of the company to continue providing needed medical products has not been compromised. Now we can move beyond this controversy and concentrate on the future."
 Mentor Corp. produces medical and surgical devices for the specialties of urology, plastic surgery and ophthalmology.
 -0- 4/14/93
 /CONTACT: Christopher J. Conway, chairman of Mentor Corp., 805-681-6000; or Margaret Moses Branch of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee, 606-243-3501/
 (MNTR)


CO: Mentor Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

EH -- LA026 -- 0729 04/14/93 16:52 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 14, 1993
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