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ABDUCTION Jury awards $27M to mother in custody case Hartford, Conn. (AP)-A Connecticut state jury has awarded $27 million to a Massachusetts mother who received help from Cuban President Fidel Castro to recover her abducted children after a bitter custody dispute. Nina Streeter sued Cincinnati-based Executive Jet Management after the company was paid $160,000 to arrange a charter flight in 2001 for Streeter’s ex-husband, Anwar Wissa Jr., and the children. Wissa took the children to Egypt and Cuba before the children were returned to Streeter nearly two years later. The lawsuit accused the company of failing to maintain adequate safeguards against abductions, such as asking both parents to sign consent forms before flying children out of the country. The jury award includes $10 million against the company for negligence and aiding custodial interference and $17 million for the 22 months Streeter spent apart from her children. BANKRUPTCY AT&T to pay $340M to bondholders’ trust Bedminster, N.J. (AP)-AT&T Corp. has said that it will pay $340 million to settle claims related to the bankruptcy of At Home Corp.-a now-defunct broadband business that AT&T acquired in 2000. Cable company Comcast Corp.-which bought AT&T’s broadband operations in 2003-will reimburse AT&T for half of the settlement amount. AT&T will pay the funds to the Bondholders’ Liquidating Trust, which is pursuing claims on behalf of the At Home estate. The company said the agreement settles all claims on behalf of the trust against AT&T and others in a state court case in California, a patent infringement suit and a number of bankruptcy court claims. HMOS Physicians settle with insurers for $80 million Miami (AP)-Health Net Inc. and Prudential Insurance Co. of America have agreed to pay more than $80 million to settle claims that they routinely skimped on payments to more than 700,000 physicians. Health Net will give $40 million to pay claims from doctors and up to $20 million for attorney fees. It also agreed to create a better definition of medical necessity for procedures that doctors perform and a streamlined system for physician complaints and payments, moves expected to cost more than $80 million over four years. Prudential agreed to give $22.2 million to pay for efforts to monitor and improve compliance by health maintenance organizations. The doctors alleged that the HMOs conspired from 1990 to 2002 to program their computers systematically to underpay doctors for their services. Health Net and Prudential were two of eight original defendants. Aetna and Cigna already have settled. Doctors are still pursuing their claims against Anthem, Coventry, United Health and Wellpoint. PATENTS HP agrees to $325M deal to settle patent dispute Hopkinton, Mass. (AP)-Hewlett-Packard Co. has agreed to pay $325 million to EMC Corp., a maker of electronic storage systems, as part of a legal settlement that ends a long-standing patent dispute related to data-storage systems. Both companies had sued and countersued one another over alleged infringement of a number of patents on what they considered to be market-leading products. The settlement calls for both companies to drop legal action that began in 2001 without admitting liability. As part of the agreement, Hewlett-Packard will pay a net $325 million balancing payment to EMC-which can be satisfied through the purchase for resale or internal use of EMC products during the next five years. Hopkinton-based EMC and Hewlett-Packard also signed a five-year patent cross-license agreement. SHAREHOLDER SUIT Hollinger directors pay $50 million to settle suit New York (AP)-Hollinger International, the publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and other papers, has said that a group of current and former directors agreed to settle a shareholder lawsuit by paying the company $50 million. Cardinal Value Equity Partners had sued on behalf of Hollinger, accusing several current and former directors of being lax in their approval of transactions involving the sale of newspaper operations for as little as $1. Hollinger pushed out a number of senior executives, including Chief Executive Conrad M. Black, after an internal investigation accused them of looting the company of hundreds of millions of dollars. TORTS Parents of student killed after celebration get $5M Boston (AP)-The city of Boston has paid more than $5 million to the parents of a college student who was killed when police fired pepper-spray pellets to stop the rioting after the Red Sox won the pennant last October. Twenty-one-year-old Victoria Snelgrove died hours after she was hit in the eye socket with a projectile outside Fenway Park.

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