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BANKING Wachovia to pay $17.3M for predecessor’s actions Philadelphia-A Pennsylvania state jury has awarded $17.3 million to the owners of a Scranton, Pa., shoe business that went bankrupt in 1997 after what its owners claimed was wrongdoing by its bank, CoreStates. The jury ordered CoreStates’ successor, Wachovia Bank, to pay $10.3 million in compensatory damages and $7 million in punitive damages. The plaintiffs claimed that the bank had negligently misled it into liquidating its retail assets in 1996 and then used the liquidation as ground for declaring the company in default on its loan agreement with the bank. - ALM BREACH OF CONTRACT $242M award for firm over failed casino plan Milwaukee (AP)-A Wisconsin state jury has awarded more than $242 million to an entertainment firm and a group of investors who were part of a failed plan to develop an American Indian casino in Kenosha, Wis. The jury found that three partners in Nii-Jii, an entertainment firm that bid on the project, had failed to disclose one of the partners’ business links to two Chicago crime figures. Nii-Jii was created to develop the Paradise Key casino for the Menominee Nation at the site of the Dairyland Greyhound Park racetrack. Nii-Jii Entertainment was awarded $220.9 million, and investors Dick Platt, Al Cohl and others were awarded $21.5 million. CLASS ACTION Judge OKs $85M Enron pension settlement Houston (AP)-A Texas federal judge has approved a deal that will give current and former Enron Corp. employees who lost their pension money $69 million to be divided up among them. U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon has approved a deal that would use two Enron insurance policies to pay the more than 20,000 current and former Enron workers. The settlement is for about $86 million, but $17 million would be set aside for the attorneys who worked on the case for four years. EDUCATION Sallie Mae agrees to pay $14 million to settle suit Reston, Va. (AP)-SLM Corp., the student loan provider better known as Sallie Mae, has agreed to make a $14 million payment to settle a lawsuit filed by private student loan financier College Loan Corp. The lawsuit challenged Sallie Mae’s practices in interpreting the “single holder” rule, which provides that borrowers who have a single lender under the Federal Family Education Loan Program must first seek a consolidation loan. The settlement agreement includes the $14 million payment by Sallie Mae, net of an insurance payment. EMPLOYMENT Perfume allergy case yields $10M judgment Detroit (AP)-A Michigan federal jury has awarded $10.6 million to a one-time radio host who was fired after complaining that a co-worker’s perfume made her sick. Erin Weber said WYCD-FM fired her in 2001 after she complained that she was allergic to another host’s perfume. She said the station owner, Infinity Broadcasting Inc., discriminated against her for a disability and retaliated after she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Hospital must pay $16M over botched surgery Nashville, Tenn. (AP)-A Tennessee state jury awarded $16.4 million to the family of a boy whose bladder was severely damaged during surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The child was 11 months old and had no previous bladder problems when he underwent the surgery. He was supposed to have a procedure performed to eliminate swelling in his scrotum. However, the doctor cut away at most of the child’s bladder. The child had a medical condition where part of the bladder was inside the scrotum. He has undergone numerous other medical procedures and is unable to urinate without using a catheter. PATENTS Cellphone technology creator wins $128M Boston (AP)-A Massachusetts federal jury has ordered a prepaid cellular phone service company and four wireless carriers to pay $128 million in damages to a firm that patented technology and systems to provide prepaid service. The jury ruled in favor of Phoenix-based Freedom Wireless Inc., which began patenting technology in 1994 developed by inventors Douglas Fougnies and Dan Harned. Boston Communications Group Inc. was found liable for all of the damages because the jury found that it had infringed the patented technologies in providing prepaid services that carriers offered their customers. The carriers-Cingular Wireless, AT&T Wireless, CMT Partners and Western Wireless-were found liable for smaller amounts based on the duration of time their customers were using technology for which Freedom Wireless held patents.

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