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January 9, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County spent $43 million on lawsuits involving the Sheriff's Department last year, accounting for nearly half of the county's total litigation costs. The county's overall spending on lawsuits was down from $115 million in 2012 to $89 million in the 2013 fiscal year, according to a report by lawyers for the Board of Supervisors. The total includes settlements, judgments and legal fees for the county's own lawyers and outside law firms. But costs for the Sheriff's Department rose, driven primarily by settlements and trial judgments in excessive-force cases.
January 8, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tom Coburn on Wednesday introduced legislation requiring federal agencies to disclose more information about settlements that end government investigations, such as whether the money paid by companies is tax-deductible. The bipartisan bill -- Warren is a Massachusetts Democrat and Coburn an Oklahoma Republican -- reflects widespread concern on Capitol Hill that banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other companies often cut deals to avoid potentially steeper penalties and court costs for violating federal laws.
December 30, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Wells Fargo & Co. said Monday it has agreed to pay $591 million to Fannie Mae to settle disputes over soured mortgages the bank sold to the seized housing finance giant during the subprime housing boom. The agreement covers loans originated by Wells Fargo before 2009 that Fannie Mae was trying to force the bank to buy back. The deal "resolves substantially" all repurchase issues related to those loans, the company said. Wells Fargo will pay $541 million in cash to Fannie Mae, with the rest covered by credits from earlier repurchases.
December 23, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America, the U.S. sales arms of the sibling South Korean automakers, said Monday they have reached a settlement in class-action litigation over inflating the fuel economy claims for their vehicles. Hyundai will offer the owners of the models with the inflated ratings a lump sum payment that will average $353. The payment varies depending on whether the vehicle was purchased or leased. Kia's average payment will be $667. Owners can also decline the offer and stay on a previous plan initiated by the automakers last year.
December 23, 2013 | By Shan Li
Ray Irani, once the highest paid executive in the oil industry, is getting a $14-million lump sum as part of a $26-million settlement after being ousted as chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corp. Irani, who joined the Los Angeles oil company in 1983 and was pushed out as chairman in May, also will continue receiving lifetime security and financial planning services estimated at as much as $1.3 million a year, Occidental said Monday in a securities regulatory filing. The 78-year-old former executive has been paid an average of $90 million a year in total compensation since 2002, according to data compiled by The Los Angeles Times.
December 22, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Less than a year after state auditors warned that Bell faced possible insolvency, the city has seen a significant infusion of cash from settlements with firms it blamed for not preventing the corruption scandal that engulfed the town. City officials said the $5.5 million in settlements, along with the sale of $15.5 million worth of city property, has left Bell on the strongest financial footing since the 2010 scandal, when the city defaulted on bonds it had issued and civic leaders first discussed the possibility of bankruptcy.
December 18, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
Three years after a truck competing in a desert off-road race careened into a crowd of spectators, a $5.8-million settlement was reached with the relatives of those killed and a dozen who were injured, their lawyers announced Wednesday. In the 2010 accident in Lucerne Valley, the pickup truck, a modified Ford Ranger, went out of control during the California 200 race and became airborne, slamming into the crowd. The accident killed eight and injured dozens. The settlement, which is the resolution of multiple lawsuits filed by victims and their families, was reached Tuesday, the lawyers said.
December 13, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger
A day after opening talks to resolve hundreds of sudden-acceleration cases in federal and state court in California, Toyota Motor Corp. has settled a separate lawsuit, filed in West Virginia. On Friday, the Japanese automaker reached a confidential agreement with Opal Gay Vance, whose 2010 Camry accelerated and crashed into a trailer and injured her back and neck, her attorney said. The case had been scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 21, making it the next sudden-acceleration case Toyota was expected to face anywhere in the country.
December 12, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. can't stop writing checks to the federal government. The nation's largest bank may, according to a person familiar with the matter, soon pay about $2 billion to settle investigations into its dealings with Bernard Madoff, the notorious fraudster whose epic Ponzi scheme collapsed five years ago. This next payout would come as the ink was still drying on a landmark $13-billion settlement the New York company struck...
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