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CONSUMER FRAUD Purdue executives plead guilty, will pay $634M ROANOKE, VA. (AP) � The maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin and three of its current and former executives pleaded guilty last week to misleading the public about the drug’s risk of addiction, a federal prosecutor and the company said. Purdue Pharma L.P. and the executives will pay $634.5 million in fines, U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said in the news release. The plea comes two days after the Stamford, Conn.-based company agreed to pay $19.5 million to 26 states and the District of Columbia to settle complaints that it encouraged physicians to overprescribe OxyContin. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Hospital to pay $7.4M to settle class action LAFAYETTE, LA. (AP) � A Lafayette hospital has agreed to pay $7.4 million to settle its part in a class action settlement accusing a cardiologist of doing unnecessary angiograms, angioplasties and stents. Half will be shared by 305 former patients, and the rest will pay litigation costs, administrative expenses and attorney fees in the suit against Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center. Attorney James Ryan said attorneys are still seeking damages from the cardiologist, Dr. Mehmood M. Patel, and from Lafayette General Medical Center, where he also practiced. The settlement, which will mean an average of $12,000 for each patient, is the second for the hospital. Last year, it agreed to pay the U.S. Justice Department $3.8 million to settle a suit alleging that it failed to act on complaints by an associate of Patel. PERSONAL INJURY $30M awarded to man who fell from ladder BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) � A 44-year-old man has been awarded $30.3 million for career-ending injuries incurred when he fell from a ladder five years ago. Peter E. Bissell of Sanborn, N.Y., suffered severe spinal and other injuries on Feb. 21, 2002, in a building then owned by the town of Amherst that he was repairing, leaving him partly paralyzed. His attorneys said the ladder collapsed. Last week, after a trial in state supreme court, the jury ordered insurance carriers for the former McGonigle & Hilger Roofing Co. to pay the sum. In 2005, another jury found the town liable for Bissell’s injuries under state labor law. REGULATORY ACTION Morgan Stanley to pay $8M to settle fraud case WASHINGTON (AP) � Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. last week agreed to pay nearly $8 million to settle federal fraud charges stemming from its alleged failure to get retail stock investors the best prices possible on more than 1 million over-the-counter transactions. During a roughly three-year period, Morgan Stanley’s automated trading system delayed the execution of orders and altered transaction prices � to the company’s financial benefit � without telling investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in announcing its settlement with the investment bank. Hedge fund settles SEC rules violation claims WASHINGTON (AP) � Amaranth Advisors LLC, a hedge fund that suffered a spectacular collapse last fall and lost some $6 billion, has agreed to pay more than $716,000 to settle charges of violating securities rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission said last week. Amaranth “willfully” violated the rules by improperly covering its short positions, or bets that prices will fall, in stocks of several companies involved in 2004 and 2005 offerings, the SEC said in an order laying out the terms of the settlement. Amaranth, which was based in Greenwich, Conn., also was censured under the agreement, in which it neither admitted nor denied the allegations. Amaranth is paying a $150,000 civil fine and $566,819 in restitution and interest. Nick Maounis, the hedge fund’s founder and chief executive, noted in a letter to investors last week that the SEC settlement was unrelated to Amaranth’s failed natural gas investment that precipitated its collapse in September. Fund investors will not bear any of the cost of Amaranth’s payments under the accord, Maounis said. Motorola to pay $25M in Adelphia-related case WASHINGTON (AP) � Motorola will pay $25 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that it had improperly funneled cash to Adelphia Communications Corp. in 2001 through a purported “marketing-support agreement” for set-top boxes, the agency said. According to the SEC, the case involved a “round trip” of cash between Motorola and Adelphia, which used the money to falsify its earnings for 2000 and 2001. “Pursuant to a purported marketing support agreement entered into in 2001, Adelphia paid money to Motorola, which was immediately returned to Adelphia in the form of marketing support payments,” the SEC said. WATER RIGHTS Water agencies settle land dispute for $50M EL CENTRO, CALIF. (AP) � The Imperial Irrigation District and San Diego County Water Authority have agreed to settle a dispute over Imperial Valley farmland that was taken out of production to make more water available for urban areas. Under the terms of last week’s settlement, San Diego will pay $40 million during the next 10 years to offset the economic impact of the fallowing program, while the IID will pay $10 million. The funds will be used for economic relief to agricultural services providers and for job training programs for farm workers.

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