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Federal Judge Gives Initial Approval to $180M FirstEnergy Settlement

A federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a proposed $180 million settlement between FirstEnergy shareholders and a group of company executives who ran the Akron-based utility during the House Bill 6 scandal.

However, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley, the chief judge of the Southern District of Ohio, refused to halt companion settlement cases in the Northern District of Ohio and in Summit County Common Pleas Court. That makes Marbley’s order, issued Monday, only a step towards ending the case, rather than a final resolution of the lawsuit.

“Of course, preliminary approval ‘is only the first step in an extensive and searching judicial process, which may or may not result in final approval of a settlement in this matter,’” wrote Marbley in his order, quoting a ruling in a separate federal case from 2001.

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