Madison County, Illinois will pay almost 500-thousand dollars to settle a gender-discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee.
The Madison County Board has voted to resolve the case involving former Regional Office of Education youth advocate Mary Parker. Parker claimed she was paid less than her male counterpart - 13-thousand dollars less in one particular year. She also says she was retaliated against when she complained.
A jury in November 2012 awarded Parker 100-thousand dollars in damages after agreeing with the retaliation claim.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A study by a group of health organizations puts Illinois 32nd in spending tobacco-lawsuit money on smoking-prevention programs.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids looked at how the 50 states and District of Columbia have spent $116 billion in money so far from a landmark lawsuit against big tobacco companies in 1998.
The campaign and other anti-smoking groups want money spent on preventing young people from starting to smoke.
Between settlement money and tobacco taxes, Illinois is getting $1 billion this year. Just more than $11 million is going to tobacco-use-prevention. That's 7 percent of the $157 million federal health officials recommend spending.
Sen. Terry Link - a Waukegan Democrat - says work continues, such as with his bill that failed last year to make university campuses smoke-free.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state has lost an arbitration case and will refund money it receives through a multi-state settlement with tobacco companies.
The attorney general's office says it is reviewing the order to determine how much Missouri will need to refund. The funds will be deducted from a payment the cigarette manufacturers make this upcoming April.
A three-judge arbitration panel sided with more than 30 cigarette manufacturers' claims that Missouri and several other states had failed to diligently enforce state tobacco laws in 2003 as was required in a 1998 legal settlement with 46 states. The tobacco settlement agreement was reached in 1998.
Missouri's share of the tobacco settlement was about $150 million in 2003.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Negotiations between Penn State and young men who claim they were abused by Jerry Sandusky have begun to bear fruit, with lawyers involved saying there will be more announcements of settlements in the coming days.
The school's trustees have set aside some $60 million to pay claims, and on Monday a lawyer working for Penn State said the one settlement so far should be followed by 24 more this week. Thirty-one young men have come forward to Penn State.
Attorney Michael Rozen said the pending agreements include most of the eight young men who testified last year against Sandusky, the school's former assistant football coach now serving a prison sentence for child molestation.
Penn State said little over the weekend in response to an announcement by the lawyer for one of the eight, "Victim 5," that his case was fully settled and he expected payment within a month. The school is paying out the claims through its insurance coverage and from interest revenues on loans made by the school to its own self-supporting entities.
Rozen said all of the deals are expected to include provisions that give the university the right to pursue claims against the university's insurer, The Second Mile charity founded by Sandusky and The Second Mile's insurer.
Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence in state prison after being convicted last summer of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Witnesses testified that he met victims through The Second Mile, an organization established to help at-risk children that ran camps and offered other services.
Rozen said the "value" of the claims depended in part on whether they happened after 2001, when top-ranking school officials were told by a graduate assistant about Sandusky with a child in a team shower, or before 1998, the earliest documented example of a Sandusky complaint.
"It's what did Penn State know and what duty did they have?" Rozen said. "What did they know, when did they know it, and what duty — if any — did they have to act, and to what extent?"
He said claims for abuse before 1998 also may fall outside the statute of limitations that put time limits on how long victims have to sue.
Although some lawyers have said they were interested in settlements that require Penn State to make changes that might prevent such abuse from re-occurring, Rozen said those matters have been eclipsed by the widespread reforms the university has adopted or begun since a series of recommendations were made last summer in an internal report.
"I don't think anybody could reasonably or rationally question the university's commitment to doing things differently in the future," Rozen said. "This was about trying to redress harm caused to young men by this really bad person, Sandusky."
He declined to say how much the 25 cases are settling for, or provide a range of the settlements.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Members of the United Mine Workers of America have voted to ratify a settlement with bankrupt Patriot Coal.
The union said Friday night that current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky voted 85 percent to 15 percent in favor of the agreement reached late last week.
Some 1,800 members from 13 locals were voting.
St. Louis-based Patriot says it wants the company to survive, and union President Cecil Roberts says a deal may let that happen.
The settlement would restore most wage cuts that Patriot had sought as part of its reorganization.
Roberts says the deal also reduces the restoration of some benefits and the continuation of others.
Pension benefits for thousands of current retirees would be maintained, and active employees would continue earning pension credit.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Almost 10,000 Missouri consumers are getting checks under a settlement with shoe maker Skechers USA.
Attorney General Chris Koster says Missouri is one of 43 states that participated with the federal government in a case alleging that Skechers deceptively advertised its toning shoes.
The settlement was announced in May 2012. A court-appointed administrator started sending out the restitution checks late last week.
Koster says 9,666 consumers will receive a total of $716,493. The majority of people will receive checks of about $34, but some will get more if they bought multiple pairs of shoes or other equipment.
The lawsuits challenged Skechers' claim that its shoes could help people lose weight and strengthen muscles. Skechers admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.
Fifty-five hospitals in 21 states, including one in the St. Louis area, have agreed to pay $34 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that they used more expensive inpatient procedures rather than outpatient spinal surgeries to get bigger payments from Medicare.
The Justice Department announced the settlement Tuesday over kyphoplasty procedures used to treat spinal fractures usually caused by osteoporosis.
Des Peres Hospital in west St. Louis County has agreed to pay $900,000 to satisfy its part of the settlement.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says more than $600,000 has been recovered for the Missouri Medicaid program as part of a national settlement against the drug-maker Amgen Inc.
Amgen agreed last month to pay $24.9 million to resolve claims it gave kickbacks to increase sales of its anemia drug Aranesp. Missouri was among several states that accused Amgen of a scheme aimed at inducing nursing home professionals to dispense Aranesp over competing drugs. Missouri's share is $603,493.
Aranesp is one of Amgen's biggest-selling drugs, though sales have fallen sharply since 2007 because of a series of safety problems and restrictions on its use.
In December, Amgen agreed to pay $762 million to resolve federal litigation accusing it of marketing Aranesp for unapproved uses.
Metro will be giving some passengers free rides under a federal class action settlement agreement. The transit agency was sued over MetroLink credit and debit card receipts that violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.
Under the law, merchants can print up to the last five digits of a customer's credit or debit card number or the card's expiration date on their receipt, but not both. Between January 2010 and August 2011, Metro had been printing both.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that people who used credit or debit cards to buy tickets during the 20 month period can make claims by July 3 for free ride passes or tickets. Those who still have their receipts could get $30 cash instead.