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BRIEFLY

October 13, 1987

A federal judge held E. Claiborne Robins Jr. in criminal contempt and fined him $10,000 because of the A. H. Robins Co.'s "deliberate defiance" of a court order to recover millions of dollars in improper payments that were made after the firm went bankrupt in August, 1985. In punishing the 44-year-old president and chief executive, U.S. District Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr. said he had to remedy an attitude that produced "excuse after excuse after excuse." The ruling in Richmond, Va., was the first imposition of a penalty against an officer of the company since it entered bankruptcy to cope with a wave of lawsuits over the Dalkon Shield intrauterine contraceptive device. Robins has 10 days in which to file a notice of appeal with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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