BANK DISCLOSES SETTLEMENTS NEGOTIATED WITH INVESTORS
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — TD Bank N.A. has disclosed several confidential settlements it reached with investor groups and individuals who lost money in the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme.
One settlement with the FEP Victims Group totaled $33 million. Another for $18.5 million was with the estate of the late Ed Morse, the Fort Lauderdale auto magnate who was one of the notable investors in Rothstein’s $1.2 billion settlement financing fraud. Morse died in mid-2012.
TD Bank disclosed it had reached smaller confidential settlements with additional parties. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Raymond Ray ordered the bank to disclose to the court all of its confidential settlements in the Rothstein matter.
JUDGE RULES ON FEDERAL PRE-EMPTION QUESTION
NEW YORK — A federal judge has ruled on an issue that has divided bankruptcy courts across the country — what to do with funds paid to a trustee for a plan that is subsequently rejected.
U.S. District Judge Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz in Albany, N.Y., determined that federal law does not pre-empt state law and the money can be levied by a creditor before remitted to the debtor.
She parted company with a recent ruling by a federal judge in New York City and held that, notwithstanding a federal statute, a trustee is not obligated to return funds to a debtor that are subject to garnishment in a state court action. She did not decide whether the Internal Revenue Service has dibs on the money.
JUDGE STRIKES ‘POLITICAL’ LIMITS ON MORNING-AFTER PILL
NEW YORK — The morning-after pill must be made available without a prescription to all women, regardless of their age, a federal judge ruled, overturning a requirement by the Obama administration he scorned as "political" and "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable."
U.S. District Edward Korman ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change within 30 days a regulation that now makes emergency contraception available only without a prescription to women who are 17 or older and can prove their age.
"The plaintiffs should not be forced to endure, nor should the agency’s misconduct be rewarded by, an exercise that permits the [Food and Drug Administration] to engage in further delay and obstruction," the judge wrote.
WRESTLER’S WIDOW SETTLES LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST WWE
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The widow of World Wrestling Entertainment performer Owen Hart has confidentially settled her lawsuit against the company over royalties and the use of her late husband’s image.
Owen Hart died in 1999 while being lowered into the wrestling ring at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. He was 34.
Martha Hart sued in June 2010, alleging the WWE didn’t pay royalty payments owed to Owen Hart’s estate and violated a contract restricting the use of his name and likeness.
PRIEST PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX ABUSE OF 12-YEAR-OLD BOY
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy he invited for a sleepover when he was pastor of a church in a small city south of Portland, Ore.
The Rev. Angel Armando Perez was sentenced to more than six years in prison after pleading guilty in Marion County, Ore., Circuit Court to first-degree sexual abuse, DUI and furnishing liquor to a minor.
The child told police he woke up during a sleepover in Perez’s home to find the priest touching his genitals and apparently taking photographs with a cellphone.
OHIO MAN IS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR CRAIGSLIST MURDERS
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A self-styled street preacher was sentenced to death on April 4 in the killings of three down-and-out men lured by bogus job offers posted on Craigslist.
The jury that convicted Richard Beasley of murder recommended that he face execution. The judge had the option of reducing the sentence to life in prison.
Beasley, 53, was convicted of teaming up with a teenager in 2011 to use the promise of jobs on a southeast Ohio farm to lure them into robberies. Three men were killed, and a fourth who was wounded testified at Beasley’s trial.
PEPPER-SPRAY VICTIM’S DEATH ENDS IN $4 MILLION VERDICT
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Lee County, Fla., sheriff and the county jail’s medical provider agreed to pay $4 million to the family of a man who allegedly died of cardiac arrest two days after his jailers pepper-sprayed him repeatedly.
Nicholas Christie, 62, was arrested on trespassing charges. At the jail, he reportedly was bound for erratic behavior and sprayed. The plaintiffs claimed he had trouble breathing after his cell was fogged with spray. They claimed the staff denied him medical attention despite knowing he had a history of heart problems.
Defense attorneys claimed jail nurses were monitoring him after he was sprayed and were not indifferent to his health condition.
PHARMACY COMPANY SETTLES RECORD-KEEPING CASE
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal prosecutor said that CVS Pharmacy Inc. has agreed to pay $11 million to settle allegations that the company’s Oklahoma pharmacies violated record-keeping requirements of the Controlled Substances Act.
U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats in Oklahoma City announced the settlement on April 3.
CVS acknowledged that its stores must comply with the record-keeping requirements. But the company did not admit liability. The allegations against CVS included that some of its stores created false Drug Enforcement Administration registration numbers that were sometimes provided to state prescription drug monitoring programs.
JUDGE HAS CHANGE OF HEART ON PORN DOWNLOADING SUIT
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in Trenton, N.J., was the latest to ban porn producers’ copyright suits against multiple John Doe defendants over allegedly illegal downloads using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer protocol for anonymous file sharing.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Arpert, who allowed such a suit to go forward last year, said on March 28 in a separate case that he had been persuaded by other rulings in the district in the past six months that joinder was improper.
Arpert severed claims against all defendants but one and dismissed the other defendants without prejudice to suing them individually. He also quashed subpoenas served on the Internet service providers for those 18 other defendants, while leaving in place the subpoena served on Comcast Cable seeking information about the identity the first defendant.
SCHOOL BOARD LIABLE FOR HARM CAUSED BY STUDENT
MIAMI (AP) — A jury awarded a high school student $197,508 after another student threw a history book at him and hit him in the eye.
The complaint alleged battery and criminal battery by the girl and negligence by the Killian School Board.
After deliberating about 20 minutes the jury returned a $197,508 verdict against the school board awarding Joel $72,508 for medical expenses and $100,000 for pain and suffering. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge David Miller presided over the three-day trial.
HEALTH PLANS FOUND LIABLE FOR HEPATITIS C OUTBREAK
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A state court jury found Nevada’s largest health management organization liable on April 4 for $24 million in compensatory damages to three plaintiffs in a negligence lawsuit stemming from a Las Vegas hepatitis C outbreak that lawyers called the largest in U.S. history.
The two companies promised an appeal and insisted that they were prevented from showing the jury that company executives didn’t know about allegations that a doctor in their network was endangering patients with unsafe endoscopy practices at his outpatient clinics in Las Vegas.
A plaintiffs attorney said he would seek to hold Health Plan of Nevada and Sierra Health Services responsible for another $1 billion in punitive damages for "reckless disregard" for patients’ health.