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• BREACH OF CONTRACT Auto parts maker must pay $38M in go-cart suit SANTA ANA, CALIF. (AP) � A California state jury returned a $38 million punitive damages verdict in a breach of contract and business fraud suit against a major Taiwan auto parts maker. The verdict came in a suit involving a contract in which a distributor of racing carts, GlobalMoto LLC, agreed to buy go-carts and other vehicles from Shou Chi Industrial Co. of Taiwan and its U.S. subsidiary, GCK Industrial USA Co. GlobalMoto claimed the defendants never intended to fulfill the contract, and merely entered into it to tap GlobalMoto’s expertise. • CLASS ACTION New York Life settles pension suit for $14M PHILADELPHIA (AP) � New York Life Insurance Co. will pay $14 million to settle a class action that accused the company of improperly steering billions in pension funds into its own mutual funds. The practice led the plan to make unwise investments and pay millions in excess management fees and expenses, the suit charged. The pension plan’s investment adviser also served as president of the New York Life mutual funds, and had his compensation tied to the amount of assets under management. • MEDICARE U.S., hospitals settle back pay suit for $666M WASHINGTON (AP) � The federal government has agreed to pay $666 million to more than 660 hospitals that sued for Medicare back payments. The settlement involves hospitals nationwide and stems from changes to Medicare reimbursement policy made more than 20 years ago, when the Reagan administration took a narrow interpretation of Medicare reimbursement rules, which excluded certain types of low-income patients from the calculation and significantly reduced payments for the hospitals. Several hospitals sued to amend the rules and won in 1997. • PERSONAL INJURY $22.5M jury award after pickup lands on motorist VENTURA, CALIF. (AP) � A California state jury has awarded $22.5 million to a motorist who was seriously hurt when a pickup truck involved in a Highway 101 crash landed on her vehicle. Brain-damaged Dawn Renae Diaz was awarded $16 million for past and future medical care, as well as a nanny for her 10-year-old daughter. The rest of the money pays for lost wages, pain and suffering. • POLLUTION Firm pays U.S. $250M for Mont. asbestos cleanup HELENA, MONT. (AP) � W.R. Grace & Co. has agreed to reimburse the federal government $250 million for the investigation and cleanup of asbestos contamination in the northwestern Montana town of Libby. Asbestos came from the vermiculite mine and processing facilities, a few miles from Libby, that Grace owned and operated from 1963 until the site’s closure in 1990. Vermiculite was used in a variety of products and the asbestos was dispersed in a variety of ways. In 2001, the government filed a lawsuit to recover costs and in 2003, the EPA won a $54 million judgment for cleanup costs. However, the money went unpaid during Grace’s bankruptcy protection. • PRODUCTS LIABILITY $40M for man forced to undergo heart transplant EVERETT, WASH. (AP) � A Washington state jury awarded $40.1 million to a man whose heart was damaged so badly by a malfunctioning machine during an operation that he had to undergo a heart transplant. Paramjit Singh, 54, checked into Providence Everett Medical Center in October 2004 for cardiac bypass surgery when a monitor manufactured by Edwards Lifesciences Corp. malfunctioned, causing a catheter to overheat and burn his heart. Jury awards $20M to couple in asbestos case SAN FRANCISCO (AP) � A California state jury awarded $20 million to a couple that was exposed to asbestos by construction materials sold by Atlanta-based Georgia Pacific Corp. Joan and Daniel Mahoney filed the suit in 2006, after 69-year-old Joan developed mesothelioma, commonly associated with asbestos exposure. • TORTS $165M settlement ends Air Philippines crash suits Plaintiffs’ attorneys say they have reached a $165 million settlement in litigation stemming from an April 2000 Air Philippines crash that left more than 100 people dead. Some 110 wrongful death lawsuits were consolidated in Illinois state court against Chicago-based AAR Aircraft & Engine Group and Fleet Business Credit Corp. AAR and Fleet were the owners of the 20-year old Boeing 737 leased to Air Philippines that crashed on approach to Davao, Philippines, on April 19, 2000. Because the aircraft had been removed from the crash site, the cause of the crash was never established, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys. � ALM

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