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BREACH OF CONTRACT Internet start-up and founder settle for $83M Seattle (AP)-InfoSpace Inc. could receive $83 million in a proposed settlement of lawsuits involving founder and former Chief Executive Naveen Jain. InfoSpace, founded by Jain in 1996 as an online e-mail directory, went public two years later and grew into an Internet and wireless services giant. InfoSpace lost more than $30 billion in shareholder value during the dot-com bust, and Jain was fired in late 2002. He started a new Internet company called Intelius across the street from InfoSpace, which sued, accusing him of violating contracts in the new start-up. CLASS ACTION PNC Financial agrees to $30 million settlement Pittsburgh (AP)-PNC Financial Services Group Inc. has agreed to a $30 million settlement to end a class action filed by investors. Insurers for PNC will place the money in a settlement fund, to which insurance giant American International Group Inc., will pay an additional $4 million. AIG is said to have improperly sold insurance contracts to two companies, PNC and Brightpoint Inc., to help them smooth earnings volatility from quarter to quarter. AIG agreed to pay $46 million last month in an accord with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle allegations of civil securities fraud over several 2001 transactions it made with PNC that allegedly helped the regional bank artificially inflate its earnings. CONSUMER PROTECTION RJR settles lawsuit with California, pays $11.4M San Diego (AP)-R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has agreed to limit tobacco advertising in teen magazines, settling a lawsuit brought by California AG Bill Lockyer. The agreement, approved by San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager, ended a long battle over whether RJR, a unit of Reynolds American Inc., violated the terms of a 1998 settlement by pitching cigarettes to California teens through advertisements in magazines aimed at young readers. RJR will avoid advertising in magazines with at least 15% teen readership and will pay $11.4 million in civil penalties and $5.9 million in legal costs. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE $395M settlement over unnecessary procedures Los Angeles (AP)-Tenet Healthcare Corp. said it has agreed in principle to pay $395 million to settle lawsuits claiming that patients at Redding Medical Center, one of its former hospitals, received unnecessary heart procedures. Under the agreement, Tenet will establish a $395 million settlement fund by that will be distributed among more than 750 plaintiffs. The lawsuits stemmed from allegations that doctors had performed unnecessary cardiac catheterizations and bypass surgeries while practicing at the medical center before November 2002. MENTAL HEALTH Settlement reached in waiting-list lawsuit Hartford, Conn. (AP)-The state of Connecticut has reached a tentative settlement with advocates for the mentally retarded to settle a class action and possibly eliminate or reduce a waiting list for housing services. Proponents hope that the five-year, $41 million agreement will help solve a problem that has led to people being on the state agency’s waiting list for up to 15 years. There are 1,064 people on the waiting list for residential placement, support or services. Under the proposed settlement, slots will be added to remove about 150 more people from the list each year over the next five years. The estimated cost is about $4.5 million per year, with much of it reimbursed under the Medicaid program. PRICE FIXING Energy provider to invest in Arizona to settle suit Houston (AP)-El Paso Corp. has agreed to provide millions in grants and accelerate capital spending in Arizona to settle a lawsuit the state had brought accusing the energy company of manipulating natural gas prices. As part of the agreement, Houston-based El Paso said it will invest $43 million for capital projects to improve interstate pipeline service in Arizona and to conserve water in the state. It also will accelerate $30 million in planned pipeline improvement spending. El Paso was accused in March 2003 of conspiring to reduce the transmission capacity in a pipeline during 2000 and 2001 to raise natural gas prices in Arizona and increase profits. PRISONERS’ RIGHTS County to pay $3.3M to settle strip search suit Portland, Maine (AP)-York County has agreed to pay $3.3 million and maintain a policy that gives its jail inmates more privacy when changing into uniforms to settle a class action that challenged strip searches at the jail. The lawsuit was filed in 2002 by Michele Nilson of North Andover, Mass., who was arrested for driving with a suspended driver’s license in 1999 and forced to take off her clothes in front of a corrections officer when taken to the jail in Alfred, Maine. The lawsuit contended that the York County sheriff’s department violated the law by requiring all persons brought to the jail to strip and shower in front of an officer, no matter what charge was brought against them. Lawyers have estimated that as many as 7,500 people were illegally stripped at the jail and could be eligible to receive part of the settlement. People are eligible to be part of the settlement if they were arrested for crimes that did not involve drugs, weapons or violent felonies between Oct. 14, 1996, and April 30, 2004, and were forced to put on a jail uniform before their first court appearance.

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