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BREACH OF CONTRACT Exxon Mobil to pay $1.1B to service station dealers Miami (AP)-A Florida federal judge has tentatively approved a $1.075 billion agreement between Exxon Mobil Corp. and thousands of service station dealers that sued the company, thereby settling a 14-year fight that ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court. The case against Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil began in 1991, when the service stations accused the company of failing to provide promised discounts for wholesale motor fuel and of fraudulently hiding its failure to pay. A jury found in favor of the dealers in 2001 and ordered Exxon to pay $500 million, but the company appealed that verdict. In June 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Exxon’s last appeal, by which time the payment had increased to more than $1 billion with interest. Security firm wins $54M in wireless tracking suit Westwood, Mass. (AP)-Security firm LoJack Corp. has said that it has won a breach of contract suit against Clare Inc., and that a Massachusetts state court has ordered the latter to pay $36.7 million in damages. LoJack alleged that Clare, a subsidiary of chipmaker Ixys Corp., failed to fulfill a June 2000 contract to develop and produce a new wireless tracking unit for LoJack. The decision requires Clare to pay $17.3 million in interest, bringing the total judgment to about $54 million. PATENTS Texas Instruments wins $112M in patent lawsuit New York (AP)-A New Jersey federal jury has awarded $112 million in damages to chip maker Texas Instruments Inc., finding that Conexant Systems Inc.’s GlobespanVirata unit had willfully infringed upon three asymmetric digital subscriber line patents. REGULATORY ACTION AIG pays $1.6B to settle false-accounting charges New York (AP)-American International Group Inc. has agreed to pay more than $1.6 billion to settle allegations that it used deceptive accounting practices to mislead investors and regulators. The agreement settles a civil suit filed in May 2005 by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer with backing from the New York State Insurance Department. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which also worked with Spitzer on the investigation, was to file and settle allegations of accounting fraud with the company simultaneously. Under the agreement, about $800 million will go to investors who were deceived by AIG’s accounting tactics, and about $375 million will go to AIG policyholders. In addition, some $344 million will go to states harmed by AIG’s practices from 1986 to 1995 involving state workers’ compensation funds. AIG was among the companies that participated in the bid-rigging scheme, and four former AIG executives were among 20 insurance executives and officers who have pleaded guilty to charges. SHAREHOLDER SUIT Drugmaker pays $185M to settle false claims suit New York (AP)-Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has said that a New Jersey federal judge has given preliminary approval for a proposed $185 million settlement to end a class action alleging that the drugmaker artificially inflated its stock price by making false and misleading claims about an experimental heart drug known as Vanlev. The drug was never approved. Under the proposed settlement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay $185 million to create a settlement fund to pay the claims of certain investors who purchased Bristol-Myers Squibb common stock during from Oct. 19, 1999, through March 20, 2002. The shareholder suit alleged that company executives praised Vanlev as a potential blockbuster despite knowing that it had potentially severe side effects as early as 1996. Nortel to pay $2.5B to settle accounting scandal New York (AP)-Telecommunications equipment maker Nortel Networks Corp. has said that it has reached a tentative agreement to pay $2.47 billion in cash and stock to settle two shareholder class actions over the company’s accounting scandal. Shareholders filed numerous lawsuits against Nortel for allegedly violating securities laws after it issued revised financial expectations for the 2001 fiscal year. Under the proposed settlement, Nortel said it would pay $575 million in cash, issue 628.7 million shares, and contribute half of any funds it recovers from suits against former senior officers the company fired in April 2004. WAGES AND HOURS Swiss bank to pay $89M to settle overtime suits New York (AP)-Swiss financial services giant UBS A.G. has reached an agreement to settle class actions brought in several federal courts by current and former employees who charged that the bank underpaid them for overtime work. The company said it will pay as much as $89 million to resolve the suits at the federal and state level. The suits claimed that UBS shortchanged some employees by improperly classifying financial advisers and trainees for that position as exempt under federal law from overtime compensation. WATER Utility to pay $295M to settle pollution suits San Francisco (AP)-Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has agreed to pay $295 million to settle a series of lawsuits alleging that the utility sickened hundreds of people by contaminating the water in three California counties. The $295 million settlement involves lawsuits alleging that, from the late 1960s through the mid-1980s, PG&E’s operations exposed neighboring homes to water contaminated with chromium-6, a possible carcinogen.

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