GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) – It’s been kind of like a marriage – for better or worse, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do they part. It didn’t exactly take a death to part them, but it did take the conclusion of the longest-running jury trial in the state’s history. A settlement has been announced that Solutia, Inc. and Monsanto Co. agreed to pay $700 million to settle claims by more than 20,000 Anniston residents over PSB contamination. The case was filed in Calhoun County in 1996, but transferred to Etowah County in July 2001 and the jury was selected in January 2002. The 15 jurors still are not released from duty until the final papers are signed, Calhoun County Circuit Judge Joel Laird said. The jurors cannot talk about the case until they are released, but he did allow them to talk about the effects of the 20-month trial. The jurors, all from Etowah County, can now go back to their families and jobs on a full-time basis. The jurors collected their final checks from Etowah County Circuit Clerk Billy Yates on Friday and cleaned out the jury room that’s been like home for 20 months. The last meeting of the group was emotional at times.

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