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BREACH OF CONTRACT DaimlerChrysler wins NASCAR team lawsuit Detroit (AP)-DaimlerChrysler Corp. has won a $6.5 million judgment against the NASCAR team Bill Davis Racing for breach of contract. DaimlerChrysler, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., alleged that the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Inc. team based in North Carolina helped rival automaker Toyota Motor Corp. develop a prototype Tundra truck for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series while still under contract to run Dodge Intrepids in NASCAR’s Winston Cup-now Nextel Cup-Series. FRAUD Tax-shelter scam costs German bank $29M New York (AP)-A German bank, Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank A.G., will pay $29 million in fines, restitution and penalties after admitting that it had helped wealthy Americans dodge taxes over a seven-year period. Lawyers for the bank said that the bank’s directors had agreed to the terms of a deal in which federal prosecutors will defer prosecuting the bank for 18 months on charges that it aided the tax- shelter scam. The bank was accused of helping wealthy people dodge taxes by generating more than $1.8 billion in phony tax losses through a variety of fraudulent loans that served no purpose other than to generate tax losses. INTENTIONAL TORTS $5M awards for officers made scapegoats by L.A. Santa Ana, Calif. (ap)-A California state jury has awarded $5 million to each of three policemen who claimed that the city of Los Angeles had made them scapegoats for the so-called Rampart corruption scandal. Officer Paul Harper, suspended Sergeant Edward Ortiz and former Officer Brian Liddy were arrested in April 2000 on corruption charges. They had been implicated by former Officer Rafael Perez, who helped authorities expose a scandal in which officers beat, robbed, framed and sometimes shot innocent people in the city’s Rampart neighborhood. Scores of convictions were thrown out and millions of dollars in settlements paid as a result of the revelations. A jury convicted the three officers in 2000 of conspiracy to obstruct justice for framing two reputed gang members. But a California Superior Court judge threw out the convictions, ruling that jury instructions had been misinterpreted. The policemen sued the city of Los Angeles, claiming that authorities were eager to use them as an example of the police department’s reform effort, and ignored problems with Perez’s credibility when they evaluated the allegations. Jury awards teacher $18M over false arrest Los Angeles (AP)-A California federal jury has awarded $18 million to a teacher who claimed that a sheriff’s detective falsely accused him of kidnapping and assaulting a girl and hid evidence that would have exonerated him. Raul Ramirez, 29, was arrested after a student identified him as the man who kidnapped her at gunpoint in May 2002 as she waited for a bus, drove her to a location and demanded that she perform a sex act. A jury found Ramirez not guilty after he produced ATM receipts and cellphone records showing he was miles from the scene when the crime occurred. Ramirez sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, alleging that it knew Ramirez did not match the victim’s description of her assailant but withheld that information until just before trial. NEGLIGENCE Dow, Rockwell must pay property owners $554M Denver (AP)-A Colorado federal jury has recommended that Dow Chemical Co. and the former Rockwell International Corp. pay $553.9 million to thousands of property owners who said that their land was contaminated by plutonium from the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant. The now-defunct site made plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads for decades before it was closed in 1989. Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical operated the plant from the 1950s until 1975; Milwaukee-based Rockwell, now known as Rockwell Automation, ran it from 1975 until 1989, both under contract with the government. The jury concluded that the two companies damaged private property around the site through negligence, causing property owners to be exposed to plutonium. The verdict called for punitive damages of $110.8 million against Dow Chemical and $89.4 million against Rockwell. The jury also recommended the companies pay some $352 million in actual damages. POLLUTION Toxic dumping costs gold-mining firm $30M Jakarta, Indonesia (AP)-Gold-mining company Newmont Mining Corp. has agreed to pay Indonesia $30 million in an out-of-court settlement, settling allegations that the company dumped tons of toxic waste into Buyat Bay on Sulawesi Island, sickening villagers. Denver-based Newmont’s local subsidiary said it would pay $30 million over 10 years to fund environmental monitoring and community development around the gold mine. The suit sought compensation for the alleged pollution from arsenic-laced waste rock pumped onto the ocean floor. Arsenic and other heavy metals are used to separate gold from ore.

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