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Settle Early: Get a Better Deal

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By Associated Press

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) Attorney General Drew Edmondson says a now-defunct poultry company got a better deal in settling an environmental lawsuit with the state because it was first to negotiate an agreement.

Springfield, Mo.-based Willow Brook Foods Inc. was originally one of the 13 companies named in Oklahoma's 2005 environmental lawsuit alleging bird waste pollution in the Illinois River watershed.

The company recently proposed to pay $120,000 to settle, an agreement which has been challenged by the 12 other poultry companies.

Edmondson says there is a "time-honored premium" for being early to the settlement table.

Willow Brook changed its name to Cold Zone Inc. last year and no longer is in the poultry business in Oklahoma.

The company only had about eight of the 1,800 poultry houses estimated to be in the watershed.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.