November 30, 2009
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has asked a Manhattan federal court to dismiss an investor class-action lawsuit over its Merrill Lynch & Co purchase, including disclosures about Merrill’s losses and bonus payouts.
In an 87-page filing on Tuesday night, the largest U.S. bank said the plaintiffs failed to allege that anyone was misled about $3.6 billion of bonuses that Merrill paid, and that it was well-publicized that payments would be made.
Bank of America also said “it was no secret” that Merrill was losing money, and that it had no legal obligation to reveal Merrill’s losses and outlook on an “ad hoc” basis, which it said could have whipsawed investors in unsettled markets.
Read Article: Reuters
The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks and representatives of almost 300 alleged victims of clergy abuse have agreed on a settlement of almost $10 million.
The agreement was discussed Tuesday at a status hearing in federal bankruptcy court and will need to be finalized. The deal could be completed by mid-January.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Ken Roosa said some of the payoff would be put aside to pursue as much as another $100 million from two of four insurance companies for the diocese that have balked in court at paying on behalf of the church. The rest would be divided among alleged victims, depending on the severity of abuse.
“It’s a long time coming. It’s a big step in the right direction,” said victims’ advocate, Elsie Boudreau, who received $1 million from the diocese to settle her sexual abuse claims against a priest four years ago.
Read Article: Seattle Times
The Transportation Department imposed its first penalties for runway delays Tuesday, collecting $175,000 from three airlines for leaving 47 passengers of a regional jet stranded overnight in Rochester, Minn.
The agency said that Continental Airlines and its regional affiliate, ExpressJet Airlines, operating as Continental Express, had deceived passengers by promising, through a “Customer First” statement on Continental’s Web site, to let passengers off planes within three hours when faced with an extended delay on the runway.
The two airlines argued that the promise was not enforceable by the government, but they agreed to pay $50,000 each in civil penalties.
A third airline, Mesaba, agreed to pay $75,000 because its employee told the Continental Express captain — wrongly — that the passengers could not be allowed into the terminal because the Transportation Security Administration was not present.
Read Article: The New York Times
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated an $8 million default judgment against Hyundai Motor Co. in a lawsuit over the backward collapse of a front seat in a 1997 crash that left a man paralyzed.
In a 7-2 ruling, the high court reversed the Court of Appeals, which had overturned a trial court’s finding for Jesse Magana of Vancouver.
The justices said the South Korean automaker deliberately withheld documentation from Magana’s lawyers for too long concerning other crashes in which front seats collapsed backward.
“Trial courts need not tolerate deliberate and willful discovery abuse,” wrote the majority, led by Justice Richard Sanders. “This result appropriately compensates the other party, punishes Hyundai, and hopefully educates and deters others so inclined.”
Read Article: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A Philadelphia jury on Monday ordered Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) to pay $28 million in punitive damages to a breast cancer survivor who had used the company’s hormone replacement drugs for 11 years.
That followed a $6.3 million award the jury ordered Pfizer to pay in compensatory damages on Friday after deciding that the drugs Premarin, Prempro and Provera contributed to her cancer, and that the drugmakers failed to adequately warn about the risks associated with the medicines.
Pfizer inherited hundreds of personal injury lawsuits involving Premarin and Prempro, which are used to counter the effects of menopause, with its recent $67 billion acquisition of Wyeth. Provera is sold by Pharmacia & Upjohn, which Pfizer acquired in 2003.
Read Article: Reuters
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