A potentially ruinous $1 billion civil judgment against contract electronics manufacturer


(FLEX) - Get Report

was whittled down to $23 million on Wednesday.

Flextronics had a five-year contract to manufacture parts for a blood analyzer sold by

Beckman Coulter

( BEC). Flextronics stopped producing the parts needed by Beckman when it shut a factory, part of the company's overall retrenchment, and Beckman cried foul.

Although it was always likely that the enormous judgment in favor of Beckman would be reduced, there were concerns that if the matter went to appeal, Flextonics might be required to post a very large appeal bond.

But that won't be necessary. Flextonics and the pharmaceutical maker reached an agreement two months after a California jury awarded Beckman Coulter $934 million, one of the largest such verdicts in the state's history.

Although Flextronics executives could not be reached, the agreement apparently is a great relief. At the time of the verdict, CEO Michael Marks said his company believed the matter still could be settled for about $10 million or $20 million, five to 10 times the amount Beckman Coulter was actually seeking.

A spokeswoman for Beckman Coulter called the settlement a victory and noted that the check is due to arrive no later than Friday.