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• CLASS ACTION Morgan Stanley pays $16M to settle bias suit NEW YORK (AP) � Morgan Stanley has agreed to settle a bias suit filed on behalf of African-American and Latino brokers in Northern California for $16 million. Morgan Stanley agreed to set up a $16 million settlement fund for more than 1,000 claimants in the class action. The suit alleged Morgan Stanley discriminated against African-American and Latino brokers and broker trainees in business, compensation and other employment opportunities based on race and ethnicity. • CONSUMER PROTECTION Verizon, N.Y. settle data plan probe for $1 million NEW YORK (AP) � Verizon Wireless has agreed to pay a penalty and reimburse users who were disconnected for “excessive” use of a cellular broadband service that was marketed as allowing “unlimited” use, New York’s state attorney general has announced. Verizon Wireless will reimburse the terminated subscribers for the cost of the laptop cards or laptop-connected cellphones they bought to use the service. The company put the cost at around $1 million. It will also pay $150,000 in penalties and costs to the state. • PATENTS Intel to pay $250M to settle infringement suit SAN FRANCISCO (AP) � Microprocessor producer Intel Corp. has agreed to pay $250 million to Transmeta Corp. to settle a patent-infringement lawsuit over chip designs and power management technology, the two companies said. The truce means Intel will be allowed to incorporate patented Transmeta technologies in its chips for 10 years under a nonexclusive license and the two sides will abandon their lawsuits against each other. Intel will pay a one-time fee of $150 million, plus $20 million annually for five years under the terms of the agreement. In October 2006, Transmeta sued Intel, alleging infringement of 10 of its patents. Transmeta claimed that Intel had shipped $100 billion in Pentium chips that use patented Transmeta technologies. Intel countersued, accusing Transmeta of violating seven Intel patents. • PERSONAL INJURY $4M for boy whose arm was broken by a bully TAMPA, FLA. (AP) � A Florida state jury awarded $4 million to a 16-year-old Tampa boy whose arm was broken by a bully. According to trial testimony, Danny Heidenberg was 12 when the other boy fell on his arm during a recess football game in January 2004. Jurors decided the faculty should have better supervised the situation. • PRODUCTS LIABILITY Water heater maker to pay $50M for explosion BAY MINETTE, ALA. (AP) � An Alabama state jury has awarded $50 million to the family of Richard Krantz, who was killed when a water heater exploded in his home. The family argued that the heater exploded because of a faulty valve, while Milwaukee-based A.O. Smith Corp., which built the heater, blamed the blast on a natural gas leak in the garage. • REGULATORY ACTION BP pays $373M to settle federal overcharge probe WASHINGTON (AP) � BP PLC has agreed to pay $373 million to settle criminal and civil charges that it overcharged U.S. propane consumers by millions of dollars and ignored environmental warnings that resulted in an Alaska oil spill and a deadly explosion in Texas. A federal grand jury in Chicago indicted four former BP traders who were caught on tape discussing an alleged scheme to pump up profits by cornering the propane markets. The charges against London-based BP and its U.S.-based subsidiaries come in at least three separate cases that federal investigators have been pursuing for several years. They include: A February 2004 scheme by BP America Inc. to inflate the price of propane by buying massive quantities of the gas, to be delivered over a Texas pipeline, and then withholding supplies; a March 23, 2005, explosion at a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, that killed 15 contract employees and injured more than 170; and BP’s March 2006 spill of 201,000 gallons of crude oil at Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, the nation’s largest oil field. • WRONGFUL TERMINATION $8.4M whistleblower suit settlement approved DETROIT (AP) � The Detroit City Council has approved $8.4 million in settlements related to harassment and whistleblower lawsuits that included claims of infidelity involving Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. The council agreed to pay two former police officers $8 million after a Michigan state jury ruled that they had been unlawfully dismissed. Jurors awarded $6.5 million to former deputy chief Gary Brown and officer Harold Nelthrope. Interest raised the amount to $8 million.The City Council also approved $400,000 for former officer Walter Harris, who claimed he was harassed because he knew of alleged extramarital affairs involving Kilpatrick.

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