Elderly former Sprint employees now have a check to look forward to in the mail as U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum approved a $57 million settlement yesterday resolving a series of lawsuits claiming Sprint Nextel Corp. targeted older workers during companywide layoffs. Filed in 2003, the lawsuit claims Sprint Corp. illegally moved employees who were 40 years or older to positions that were then eliminated as part of the company's efforts to scale back. The wireless phone company has denied the allegations, saying it settled the suit to save on legal costs. The settlement covers 1,697 former employees laid off between October 2001 and March 2003. Subtracting about $21 million for legal fees and expenses, the plaintiffs will split the remaining money, receiving between $4,226 and $35,738 each, depending on a settlement scale, or an average of $20,330.