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Halliburton Soars on Asbestos Ruling

A judge in a former unit's bankruptcy case stays up to 200,000 claims.
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soared in the premarket session after a bankruptcy court judge stayed about 200,000 asbestos claims against its Dresser Industries unit.

The ruling came in bankruptcy proceedings of Harbison-Walker, the firm spun off by Dresser in 1992 that is the source of much of its asbestos exposure. The stayed claims represent a majority of the pending asbestos claims against all Halliburton units, the company said, and about 132,000 of the stayed claims are refractory claims that Harbison-Walker agreed to be responsible for when it was spun off from Dresser in 1992.

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Harbison-Walker said in a voluntary Chapter 11 filing that its parent, RHI Refractories Holding, and Dresser have agreed to work together and confirmed a reorganization plan to provide for distributions to the asbestos claimants.

If such a plan were approved, all pending and future Harbison-Walker-related lawsuits against the debtor and Dresser Industries would be channeled to a special trust for resolution and payment, the company said.

On Instinet, Halliburton shares were rising 12% to $16.40.