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ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By John Horn
Clint Eastwood's "Trouble With the Curve" wasn't a box-office hit, but that hasn't stopped a bitter and costly lawsuit over its authorship. On Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles will try to determine whether the baseball movie stole more than a base. Former actor Randy Brown tried for years to become a screenwriter. Finally, after almost two decades of thankless effort, he sold a baseball story to Clint Eastwood's production company.  The result was the Warner Bros. feature film "Trouble With the Curve," directed by Eastwood's longtime producing partner, Robert Lorenz, and starring Dirty Harry himself.  PHOTOS: Box office top 10 of 2013  |  Biggest flops of 2013 The film, a critical and commercial washout, grossed just $48.9 million globally.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - Jessica Manosa was 20 when she decided to throw a party at an unoccupied rental home her parents owned - without their permission. Word of the bash in Diamond Bar spread by text message, and many who showed up did not even know Manosa, according to court records. They drank liquor, danced and got drunk. One of the partygoers was asked to leave after he began dropping his pants while dancing. As he drove away, he ran over another inebriated guest, a 19-year-old student, killing him. Now the grieving family wants to hold Manosa - via her parents and their homeowners insurance - liable for his death.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
A federal judge threw out Santa Monica's lawsuit to wrest control of its airport from the U.S. government this week, but community activists vowed on Friday to keep fighting to shut down the historic facility. "This case is far from over," said Martin Rubin, director of Concerned Citizens Against Airport Pollution. "If the city of Santa Monica wants to close the airport and use it in a fashion that would be more beneficial economically and environmentally, then the Federal Aviation Administration should allow them to do just that.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
The effort to close Santa Monica Airport suffered a major setback Thursday when a federal judge threw out the city's lawsuit that sought to wrest control of the facility from the federal government. U.S. District Judge John F. Walters dismissed the claim that title to the oldest operating airport in Los Angeles County should be returned to the city because the action was brought too late under the statute of limitations. Walters also threw out the allegations that the city was denied due process and that the federal government did not properly compensate the city for taking the property in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
SPORTS
February 10, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
A potentially nasty legal battle between Angels slugger Albert Pujols and former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Jack Clark was avoided Monday when Clark issued a public apology for last summer's comments accusing Pujols of using performance-enhancing drugs. Pujols, in turn, said he would drop the defamation lawsuit he filed in St. Louis County in October that accused Clark of disseminating “malicious, reckless and outrageous falsehoods” about him in an attempt to “generate attention and ratings” for Clark's new sports-radio talk show.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Here's how Toyota Motor Corp. plans to finally put the sudden-acceleration issue to rest: Pull out the checkbook. The automaker is reportedly close to paying a $1-billion fine to settle a four-year federal criminal investigation into whether it properly reported safety complaints to regulators. Meanwhile, Toyota's lawyers are in settlement talks over hundreds of civil lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths or injuries, potentially adding hundreds of millions to the tab. Previously, Toyota agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle a class-action case brought by thousands of Toyota owners who contended that sudden-acceleration problems damaged the value of their vehicles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
Los Feliz was buzzing Sunday afternoon as crowds of people lined up for hours to grab a cup of coffee from, uh, Dumb Starbucks. The mock store, which quietly opened Friday, is nearly identical to a typical Starbucks location, with tumblers and CDs, including "Dumb Jazz Standards," on display - but not for sale. Drinks are served in cups that mock the Seattle coffee giant's logo, while pastries are pulled from display cases straight in their Vons' packaging. The menu features such offerings as Dumb Iced Coffee, Dumb Frappuccinos and Wuppy Duppy Latte.
SPORTS
February 7, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
That long and bitter fight to persuade a court to overturn the Alex Rodriguez suspension? Never mind, the New York Yankees' third baseman said Friday. Rodriguez dropped his lawsuits against Major League Baseball, the players union, and Commissioner Bud Selig, according to a notice of dismissal filed by his attorneys Friday. “Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit," the union said in a statement. "His decision to move forward is in everyone's best interest.” Rodriguez filed suit last month, after an arbitrator reduced his suspension from 211 games to one full season.
NEWS
February 6, 2014 | By Robert Greene
One reason to oppose returning a Christian cross to the Los Angeles County seal after an absence of 10 years is that the seal debate wasted enough time a decade ago. Another reason is that, when push comes to shove, it's just not right to feature a single religion's most recognizable symbol on an official government emblem. And the third reason is the time and money that taxpayers would have to spend on the inevitable lawsuit challenging the placement of the cross as unconstitutional.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Already under fire for siphoning money into a secret fund, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has been ordered to pay more than $32 million in legal bills for those it blamed for starting a 65,000-acre forest fire. In a scathing order, Superior Court Judge Leslie C. Nichols, sitting on assignment in Plumas County, accused the agency of covering up, lying and engaging in "egregious and reprehensible conduct. " "The court finds that Cal Fire's actions initiating, maintaining and prosecuting this action, to the present time, is corrupt and tainted," the judge wrote.
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