Service Corporation International, a funeral and cemetery company, today announced it has entered into an agreement in principle to settle the class action lawsuit and all individual related lawsuits pending against the company involving Florida’s Menorah Gardens and Funeral Chapels (Florida litigation), with the exception of one lawsuit pending in Palm Beach County, Florida styled: Sol Guralnick, et. al. vs. SCI Funeral Services of Florida, Inc., et. al. All claims under the Florida litigation would reportedly be dismissed following final court approval of the settlement.
Commenting on the company’s Florida litigation settlement, SCI Chairman and CEO, R. L. Waltrip, said, “We are pleased to have this matter resolved so that we can devote more of our attention and resources to serving our client families and focusing on achieving our strategic objectives.”
The reported terms of the proposed settlement call for the company to make payments totaling approximately $100 million in settlement of these claims. The company has substantial face amount of insurance coverage related to such claims, although there are various unresolved insurance coverage disputes.
As of Sept. 30, 2003, the company had recognized reserves of approximately $23 million relating to the Florida litigation. As a result of this settlement, the company expects to recognize additional litigation related expenses of approximately $77 million on a pretax basis in the fourth quarter of 2003.
Due to the unresolved insurance coverage disputes, the company will reportedly not recognize an estimated receivable for insurance recoveries at this present time.
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