Wal-Mart Settles Lawsuit Over Insurance Policies on Workers

Wal-Mart has settled a lawsuit over its practice of taking out life insurance on employees, and making itself the beneficiary.

The settlement with families of deceased employees was reached hours before a federal appeals court ruled against the giant retailer.

Terms of the deal, reached earlier this week, were not disclosed.

The families alleged Wal-Mart never told workers about the policies.

Wal-Mart officials said the settlement could benefit relatives of 150 to 500 employees although only about six families were part of the lawsuit.

The retailer says it lost 100 million dollars on the policies and unwound them in 2000 after court decisions took away tax advantages.

It's suing AIG and Hartford Life, which sold the policies, to force them to pay Wal-Mart's losses and additional expenses, potentially including the cost of the settlement.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.