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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deal Near in HIV Suit

TOKYO () -- Baxter International Inc., the U.S. drug giant accused of knowingly selling blood products contaminated with the HIV virus in Japan in the early 1980s, is discussing a settlement that could set a costly precedent for similar pending lawsuits worldwide.

A suit here asserts that Baxter, along with the Japanese government and four other drug companies, was responsible for infecting nearly half of Japan's hemophiliac population -- about 5,000 people -- with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS.

Last October, Tokyo and Osaka district courts recommended that the government and the companies provide permanent health care and pay $430,000 to each of 401 plaintiffs -- one of the world's largest such awards to date. Baxter's portion of the payout