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CLASS ACTION FedEx to pay $55M to settle racial bias suit SAN FRANCISCO � Attorneys say they have reached a settlement in a class action that would force national shipping company FedEx Corp. to pay out almost $55 million and overhaul its pay, discipline and promotions practices. The suit claimed that FedEx Express, which performs overnight deliveries, had a culture of hostility toward people of color. If approved, the settlement will benefit some 20,000 hourly employees and operations managers who work in the company’s western regional facilities. � ALM INTENTIONAL TORTS Men wrongly convicted of murder awarded $8M CHICAGO (AP) � Two men who spent more than 12 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted for the rape and murder of a medical student will split an $8 million settlement approved by Chicago officials. In 1988, Larry Ollins and Omar Saunders were sentenced to life in prison for the slaying of Rush University medical student Lori Roscetti, 23, who was abducted, raped and beaten to death. Ollins and Saunders, along with two other men, were exonerated by DNA tests in late 2001 and were pardoned by then-Governor George Ryan. In 2004, Eddie Harris and Duane Roach pleaded guilty to raping and killing Roscetti. Officials said DNA tests confirmed the two men committed the crime. MEDICARE/MEDICAID Texas agrees to improve medical care for poor AUSTIN, TEXAS (AP) � The state of Texas will significantly improve medical care available to poor children under a draft agreement presented to a federal judge that could end a 14-year-old lawsuit over children’s Medicaid. Lawmakers wanted to settle the case to avoid a potentially costly and burdensome mandate from the judge. The case stems from a class action filed in 1993 claiming that the state did not provide adequate care for children enrolled in Medicaid. The agreement will cost the state about $700 million. NEGLIGENCE Casino garage collapse suit settles for $101M ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) � The Tropicana Casino Resort has settled all litigation stemming from the 2003 collapse of its parking garage that killed four people. Another 20 workers were injured in the collapse, which came less than an hour after a city inspector had visited the construction site and found nothing wrong. The families of the men who died sued Tropicana, its parent company, Aztar Corp., and several contractors. The plaintiffs will share $101 million under the settlement. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said lack of steel reinforcements in the parking garage’s concrete and inadequate support for the completed floors were to blame for the collapse. Skier paralyzed after ski jump fall awarded $14M KENT, WASH. (AP) � A Washington state jury has awarded $14 million to a skier who was paralyzed after a ski jump fall at the Summit at Snoqualmie, Wash. In February 2004, Kenny Salvini fell 37 feet from a jump at Central Terrain Park and maintained by Ski Lifts Inc. The jury found that the operator failed to take safety into consideration at its Summit West terrain park and therefore was partially responsible for the crash. The full jury award of about $31 million was reduced to $14 million after calculating “the comparative fault” of Salvini. PATENTS Medical device makers settle laser probe suits NEW YORK (AP) � Synergetics USA Inc. has agreed to pay Iridex Corp. $6.5 million over five years to settle a patent litigation lawsuit. Under the deal, O’Fallon, Mo.-based Synergetics will make an initial payment of $2.5 million to Iridex, followed by annual payments of $800,000 through 2012. Additionally, the two companies have agreed to cross-license various patents royalty-free, and Synergetics was granted the right to manufacture and supply various disposable products for Mountain View, Calif.-based Iridex. Iridex makes lasers used in eye surgery. Synergetics makes a variety of devices used in eye and brain surgery. The settlement ends all legal proceedings between the companies. A Missouri federal lawsuit concerned Iridex’s proprietary laser probe connector technology. And a Pennsylvania federal suit related to Synergetics’ patented directional laser probe technology and Iridex’s intuitive laser probe technology, for which a patent is pending. WRONGFUL DEATH Crash that killed two will cost shipper $32M LAFAYETTE, LA. (AP) � A Louisiana federal jury has ruled that shipper Allied Van Lines Inc. should pay $31.8 million to a group of Texans whose sport utility vehicle was thrown into the air and caught fire, killing two people and seriously burning two others, when a moving van slammed into traffic stopped by a minor accident.

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