WASHINGTON (May 1)—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is negotiating with plaintiffs' attorneys toward the possible settlement of hundreds of personal injury lawsuits against the Nashville, Tenn.-based tire maker. Preliminary talks were held in late April, with more scheduled for mid-May, according to a company spokeswoman, who also said some of the news reports about the negotiations were "a bit out of proportion." The company, she said, is "open to discussions that are fair and reasonable to all parties." In recent months the tire maker has followed a policy of settling lawsuits related to the recalled Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires, obtaining confidentiality agreements forbidding plaintiffs from discussing the case or releasing court documents. The company spokeswoman could not say how many lawsuits have been filed against the firm over the recalled tires, or how many it has settled to date. "That number changes daily," she said.