PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A bill designed to encourage out-of-court settlements in the litigation surrounding the collapse of Curt Schilling's failed video game company has cleared a legislative hurdle in Rhode Island.

State senators unanimously approved the bill Thursday. It was introduced on behalf of Gov. Lincoln Chafee and aims to shield any defendant that settles with the state from lawsuits from co-defendants over damages for which that co-defendant is found liable.

The former Economic Development Corp. sued the former Red Sox pitcher and 13 others after 38 Studios went bankrupt. The state agency approved a $75 million loan guarantee for the company.

The agency's lawyer says preliminary settlement talks are underway and that the bill would help maximize the amount the state could recoup.

The bill is under review in the House.