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• BREACH OF CONTRACT Parts suppliers settle plastics business dispute WASHINGTON (AP) � Auto-parts supplier Dura Automotive Systems Inc. will get nearly $2 million to settle a debt stemming from Nyloncraft Inc.’s purchase of Dura’s plastics products business in 2002. In papers filed in a Delaware federal bankruptcy court, Dura said parts supplier Nyloncraft has agreed to pay about $2 million to end its obligation to continue paying principal and interest on a $6 million subordinated note it issued to Dura when it bought the company’s plastics business for $41 million in 2002. Nyloncraft defaulted on the note shortly after Dura sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late 2006. • CONSUMER PROTECTION Merck settles Medicaid drugs probe for $671M PHILADELPHIA (AP) � Merck and Co. Inc. has agreed to pay $671 million to settle claims that it overcharged Medicaid programs for four drugs, including Vioxx and Zocor, and to resolve allegations of improper marketing to doctors. In a case in Philadelphia, Merck agreed to pay $399 million plus interest for improper calculation of Medicaid rebates and its marketing practices. In a Louisiana case, it agreed to pay $250 million plus interest for its rebate practices. The interest payments boost the total payout to $671 million. Drug companies are required to report to the government the lowest price for their products to ensure that Medicaid programs get the benefit of the same discount. Merck, however, was hiding the steep discounts it gave to hospitals by reporting higher prices to the government, prosecutors said. From 1997 to 2001, Merck also gave money and perks to doctors and other health care professionals to entice them to prescribe Merck drugs. • INSIDER TRADING Bank officials pay $24M to settle takeover probe HONG KONG (AP) � The Bank of East Asia Ltd. Chairman and Chief Executive David Li and two other executives have agreed to pay the U.S. Securities and Enforcement Commission $24 million to settle insider trading charges linked to shares in Dow Jones & Co. The SEC had accused Li, Michael Leung and Kan King Wong of being involved in an illegal trading scheme ahead of news of the more than $5 billion takeover offer from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. for the financial news company. The SEC alleged that, in April 2007, Li, a former Dow Jones board member, had learned of the then-secret takeover offer for Dow Jones and tipped off Leung, who bought $15 million of Dow Jones shares. • INTENTIONAL TORTS $15M award for female inmates alleging abuse LANSING, MICH. (AP) � A Michigan state jury has awarded $15 million to 10 female inmates for rape and sexual harassment they suffered at the hands of male staff in a state prison. Once interest is factored in, the women could get about $30 million. The state Department of Corrections plans to appeal, saying it was denied the chance to put on a defense. • POLLUTION Long-running suit over mining settles for $168M HELENA, MONT. (AP) � Montana and Atlantic Richfield Co. have settled a 25-year-old lawsuit over environmental damage caused by a century of mining in the state. The $168 million settlement follows a previous agreement in which Atlantic Richfield paid the state $230 million to address environmental harm from mining and the processing of metals. The new settlement addresses damage claims not resolved by the first one, in 1999. The $168 million is part of a $187 million Atlantic Richfield deal that includes payments to the federal government for environmental work in Montana. • REGULATORY ACTION Hedge fund, N.Y., SEC settle late-trading probe ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) � Hedge fund Ritchie Capital has settled investigations into late trading for $40 million. An investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found that, from 2001 to 2003, Ritchie Capital had engaged in late trading, buying and selling of mutual fund shares after the 4 p.m. close of the markets. The company sold mutual funds at preclose prices based on post-close information. • WRONGFUL DEATH Families of women killed in earthquake get $2M SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIF. (AP) � California state jurors have awarded $2 million to the families of two women killed when a Paso Robles, Calif., building collapsed during a 2003 earthquake. The two-month wrongful death trial ended with a negligence verdict against the owner of the 111-year-old Acorn Building. Jennifer Myrick, 20, and Marilyn Frost-Zafuto, 55, were killed while trying to flee the downtown Paso Robles building during the magnitude-6.5 quake. Jurors decided property owner Mary Mastagni was negligent in the building’s maintenance and operation.

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