A lab technician who won $86.5 million in a court fight now says she wants "to get back to living a normal life, like I did before."

And what's that like? "We garden, watch TV, rent movies, go to movies, visit with friends, play cards. We're just simple people."Four years ago, life grew complicated for the technician, Linda Tanner, 47, and her husband, Michael, of Black, Mo.

She lost her job at a hospital in Ellington, Mo., after complaining in letters to newspapers about an infectious-waste disposal incinerator in Bunker, Mo., about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis.

The company that runs the incinerator - it closed about 1987 - sued Tanner for libel. In turn, she sued the company, charging abuse of the legal process.

On Friday, Tanner came out on top after a monthlong trial. A jury sided with her and against Decom Medical Waste Systems of Canada and its Missouri-based subsidiary, Bunker Resource Recycling and Reclamation Inc.

The lawyer for Decom has promised to appeal, and Tanner said she realized it could be years, if ever, before she gets any money.

Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service