A bill aimed at preventing a flood of lawsuits stemming from year 2000 (Y2K) computer malfunctions was approved by Congress in July and awaited the president's signature at press time. The bill, passed after both sides hammered out a compromise that would win White House support, also shields school districts and other government entities from punitive damages in the event of a Y2K-related suit.

The legislation seeks to limit lawsuits by giving disputing parties a 90-day cooling-off period to settle their grievances out of court. It also puts limits on class-action lawsuits, ensures that, in most cases, companies will be held...

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