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BREACH OF CONTRACT Bar-code scanner maker wins arbitration award Blackwood, N.J. (AP)-An arbitrator has ordered Metrologic Instruments Inc. to pay about $12 million to rival bar-code scanner maker Symbol Technologies Inc. to settle a license dispute. The New York arbitrator ruled that Metrologic owes Symbol past royalties and interest on sales of certain bar code scanners. Metrologic licensed certain laser bar code scanning technology from Symbol in 1996, but said in 2001 that its products had changed substantially enough that the license no longer applied. Symbol maintained that these were still covered by the agreement. In an interim ruling earlier this year, the arbitrator said that eight of the disputed products were outside the scope of the license, while three were covered. CLASS ACTION Allstate to pay $120M for unpaid overtime pay New York (AP)-Insurance giant Allstate Corp. has agreed to pay up to $120 million to settle a class action in California brought by employees for overtime pay issues. The Northbrook, Ill.-based company’s Allstate Insurance Co. unit agreed to pay the amount for unpaid overtime pay, meal and rest break violations and legal fees. The settlement covers Allstate employees who were claims adjusters or held similar positions from November 1996 to December 2004. FRAUD KPMG pays $456M and avoids indictment Washington (AP)-The Justice Department decided to settle a tax fraud investigation of KPMG rather than pursue criminal charges so as to avoid the kind of massive job losses that followed prosecution of accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Eight former KPMG executives were indicted last week, and the firm agreed to pay $456 million as it admitted setting up fraudulent shelters to help rich clients dodge billions of dollars in taxes. Under the scheme, KPMG marketed the tax shelters to clients who made more than $10 million in 1997 and more than $20 million per year from 1998 to 2000. Rather than pay tax on income or capital gains, the client could choose an amount of purported tax losses to offset the gains, paying KPMG and law firms as much as 7% of that amount in fees. LEGAL PROFESSION Judge rules attorneys are entitled to $15M in fees Denver (AP)-A Colorado state judge has ruled that attorneys who helped shareholders win a $50 million settlement from Qwest Communications International are entitled to $15 million in fees. The settlement, reached in June, ended a class action alleging that Qwest had improperly avoided paying a $273 million quarterly dividend to investors who held shares of U.S. West before the companies merged in 2000. The Association of U.S. West Retirees had objected to the 30% cut sought by the attorneys, but a Denver district judge said that the 30% fee is customary in class actions. MEDICARE FRAUD Calif. hospital pays $8M to settle overbilling suit Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP)-Eisenhower Medical Center has paid $8 million to settle allegations that it defrauded Medicare during the 1990s, according to federal officials. Overbilling allegations were first raised in a 1998 whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee of Healthcare Financial Advisors (HFA), a consulting firm that Eisenhower used to prepare Medicare reimbursement reports. The whistleblower suit alleged that HFA helped Eisenhower and other hospitals prepare two cost reports, padding one submitted to Medicare and a second, more conservative one, for in-house use. The allegedly fraudulent cost reports sought reimbursement for things that Medicare will not reimburse, such as the hospital’s adult day-care center. REGULATORY ACTION Insurance broker settles steering clients charges New Haven, Conn. (AP)-A Virginia-based insurance broker has agreed to pay more than $30 million to settle allegations that it steered clients to preferred insurance companies and shared rebates with one of the nation’s largest obstetrician and gynecologist management companies. Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co. (HRH) steered clients to favored insurance brokers that boosted commissions at the expense of those companies. State insurance investigators also said in the agreement that HRH shared commissions with Women’s Health Connecticut. HRH disguised the rebates by writing phony contracts for services that Women’s Health Connecticut wasn’t really providing. TORTS Fisherman wins $14M award against DuPont Laurel, Miss. (AP)-A Mississippi state jury has awarded an oyster fisherman who claimed that chemicals from a DuPont plant caused his rare blood cancer $14 million in actual damages. It is the first of 1,996 cases against the second largest titanium dioxide maker in the nation. Titanium dioxide is a white pigment used in paint, plastics and toothpaste.

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