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INTENTIONAL TORTS Convicted executives to forfeit $53.55M to utility Topeka, Kan. (AP)-A federal judge has ordered two former Westar Energy Inc. executives to forfeit a total of $53.55 million to the utility they were convicted of looting. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson divided up the forfeited assets of David Wittig and Douglas Lake and distributed them among Wittig’s wife, the government and the utility. Wittig, Westar’s former chairman, president and chief executive officer, forfeited $44.46 million to the utility. Lake, a former executive vice president, forfeited $9.09 million to Westar. Wittig also was ordered to forfeit $10.68 million to the federal government. PATENTS Skin-care firm wins suit against cosmetics firm Princeton, N.J. (AP)-TriStrata Technology Inc., a Princeton-based company making skin-care products, has won a patent infringement case against Dallas-based Mary Kay Inc. In a news release, TriStrata said that a Delaware federal judge had denied motions by Mary Kay to throw out a previous jury verdict that found the company liable for infringing on three TriStrata patents. Mary Kay was ordered to pay TriStrata $41.4 million for patent infringement. TriStrata is a wholly owned subsidiary of NeoStrata Co., which specializes in skin-care products including alpha-hydroxyacid technology. REGULATORY ACTION Steel firm agrees to clean two PCB-tainted streams Middletown, Ohio (AP)-AK Steel Corp. has agreed to settle a six-year-old lawsuit by spending an estimated $13 million to clean up two streams contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls from its Middletown Works plant. The agreement would resolve a lawsuit filed in June 2000 by the U.S. government. Under the deal, AK Steel would remove the contaminated sediments from the streams, both tributaries to the Great Miami River, and contaminated soil from neighboring floodplains of the Dicks Creek basin. PCBs once were widely used to insulate electrical equipment, but the government banned their production in 1979 because of their link to cancer and other health problems. SEX HARASSMENT U.S. settles sex-bias case at Denver Mint for $9M Denver (AP)-The U.S. Mint has agreed to pay $9 million to female workers at its Denver plant who alleged that their bosses demanded sex in exchange for promotions, harassed them and retaliated when they complained. The complaint was filed in 2003 by 32 women who alleged that pornography was openly displayed at the Denver plant and that women were subjected to unwanted sexual advances and sexual discrimination. The Mint produces U.S. coins. TORTS Man’s wrong conviction costs city $14.5 million Tulsa, Okla. (AP)-An Oklahoma federal jury has ordered the city of Tulsa to pay $14.5 million to a man who spent 14 years in prison for a rape conviction before DNA evidence exonerated him. Arvin McGee Jr., 44, was freed in 2002 after his conviction in a 1987 rape and kidnapping was overturned. He sued the city of Tulsa, claiming that a Tulsa police officer involved in the case acted with “deliberate indifference” toward McGee’s constitutional rights in a five-man photo lineup from which the victim identified McGee as her attacker. WAGES AND HOURS $19.1M verdict against store chain now $33.2M Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP)-An Alabama federal judge increased a jury’s verdict against Family Dollar Stores Inc. from $19.1 million to $33.2 million, ruling that the North Carolina company purposely misclassified hourly workers as salaried managers to avoid overtime payments. Earlier last month, a Tuscaloosa jury had ruled that Family Dollar had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and awarded back pay to 1,424 workers dating to 1998, plus attorney fees. According to the lawsuit, managers at Family Dollar stores worked as much as twice their scheduled time of 40 hours per week and performed duties like mopping floors, unloading trucks, stocking shelves and running cash registers. WRONGFUL DEATH Air traffic control firm must pay for air collision Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP)-A Florida state jury has awarded $25.2 million to the family of a pilot who was killed when two small planes collided. The jury awarded the money to Steve Ross’ wife and four children. Ross, 46, a Boca Raton, Fla., chaplain, was one of five people killed when the planes crashed in the water off Deerfield Beach, Fla., on June 16, 2003. Ross’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Robinson Aviation, a private contractor operating the Boca Raton and Pompano Beach control towers. The two planes collided moments after both pilots made contact with air traffic controllers in Pompano Beach and Boca Raton.

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