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BREACH OF CONTRACT Cable operator must pay satellite operator $51M NEW YORK (AP)-Loral Space & Communications Inc., an operator of a fleet of telecommunications satellites, said that it has won a jury verdict worth $51 million. The New York state court verdict came against Rainbow DBS Holdings, a satellite unit of New York-area cable operator Cablevision Systems Corp. In March 2001, Loral agreed to sell its stake in Rainbow DBS Co. LLC to Rainbow DBS Holdings. Rainbow Holdings was to pay $33 million when the company’s assets were sold, according to a 2006 regulatory filing. In March 2005, Rainbow DBS sold a satellite to EchoStar Communications Corp., but Rainbow Holdings said Loral was not entitled to any payment. Loral sued in September 2005. CLASS ACTION Telecom service provider settles calling-card suit NEWARK, N.J. (AP)-Telecom service provider IDT Corp. said that it has reached a settlement in a nationwide calling-card class action, and has agreed to provide $20 million in refunds to eligible customers. The settlement affects customers who bought an IDT rechargeable calling card in the U.S. after Jan. 1, 1997. Retailer will discount tech gadgets by $60M SAN FRANCISCO (AP)-Sharper Image Corp. has agreed to discount its high-tech gadgets by more than $60 million and make several other concessions to settle a class action alleging that the specialty retailer misled customers about the effectiveness of its air purifiers. Under the proposed settlement, Sharper Image will offer $19 merchandise credits to each of the roughly 3.2 million consumers who bought one of its “Ionic Breeze” purifiers since May 6, 1999. The credits can be applied toward the purchase of other Sharper Image-branded products for a year after they’re issued. The same group of consumers also will be able to buy a grill attachment designed for the Ionic Breeze for $7. Katrina lawyers to get big payday settlement Richard “Dickie” Scruggs and his legal team can collect up to $46 million in fees from Mississippi’s accord last week with State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. over Hurricane Katrina damage. The insurer is expected to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to resolve more than 600 lawsuits and thousands of other disputed claims stemming from its refusal to pay for damage from Katrina’s storm surge. State Farm will pay about $80 million to 639 policyholders who sued the company after the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane. All are represented by Scruggs’ legal team, which will be paid about $26 million by State Farm. The insurer also agreed to pay at least $50 million-but possibly hundreds of millions more-to about 35,000 policyholders who haven’t sued the company but will have their claims reopened, reviewed and possibly paid. A judge will decide how much State Farm will pay Scruggs’ legal team for this class action portion of the deal, but any payment is capped at $20 million. REGULATORY ACTION EPA reaches $21.8M deal to clean Superfund site ELKTON, MD. (AP)-The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a $21.8 million settlement with 95 parties to help clean up an Elkton Superfund site once home to a solvent recycling company. The defendants have agreed to pay for the removal of chemicals from the Spectron site, at an estimated cost of more than $19 million. According to the EPA, the agreement includes reimbursement for past cleanup costs and money to restore an aquatic habitat. Two companies controlled the site at different times, reprocessing wastes from the pharmaceutical, paint and chemical industries. The second owner, Spectron, went bankrupt in 1988 and closed the site. The EPA said that Spectron abandoned many hazardous substances, and soil and groundwater were contaminated, causing damage to the aquatic habitat. WAGES AND HOURS Wal-Mart to pay $33M for overtime violations BENTONVILLE, ARK. (AP)-Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay more than $33 million in back wages to thousands of employees after turning itself in to the U.S. Labor Department for paying too little in overtime. Wal-Mart said the department’s review of its overtime calculations also found it had overpaid about 215,000 hourly workers during the last five years. The company said it will not seek to recover any overpayments. WRONGFUL DEATH $20M award in suit over foster care baby’s death TULSA, OKLA. (AP)-An Oklahoma state jury has awarded $20 million in damages to the estate of 7-month-old girl who died while in foster care. The jury awarded $20 million in actual damages in a lawsuit against Deanza Jones, who was a foster parent for Aurora Espinal-Cruz. The suit alleged that Aurora asphyxiated while unattended in a filthy crib at Jones’ roach-infested Tulsa home, while the baby’s 4-year-old sister listened to her cry and die.

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